Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Thursday appointed President Muhammadu Buhari to lead the battle against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the sub-region.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, confirmed this to journalists at the end of the extraordinary summit of the Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS held in Abuja.
The summit was convened by the regional leaders to deliberate on the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world. Adesina said the ECOWAS leaders discussed the challenges posed by COVID-19 and how best to tackle the deadly virus.
He said: “The West African leaders discussed how to tackle the period of COVID-19 and what to do post-COVID-19. “Now, at the end of it all, it was decided that there should a champion who would lead the response of the sub-region and that champion is President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria. “So, our president is going to lead the response of West Africa to the challenge of COVID-19.”
The Chairman of the ECOWAS, Mahamadou Issoufou, had during the opening of the summit raised alarm over the devastating effects of the virus on humans and economies of the member-states.
He, therefore, for called for collaborative efforts among the member-states to combat the pandemic, which had already claimed many lives in the region and beyond. The Nigerien president, who spoke in the French language, also advocated for total debts cancellation for African countries to enable the continent to survive the post-coronavirus era.