ECOWAS Women Observe 29th Anniv.
By: C. Winnie Saywah
Posted June 4, 2004
ECOWAS Women in Liberia on Saturday commemorated the 29th Anniversary of the sub- regional body, Economic Community of West Africa(ECOWAS), with appropriate program.
During the celebration held at the YWCA in Sinkor, honors were bestowed on deserving personalities in Liberia who have kept the organization together over the years as a unifying body.
Among those honored were UNMIL Force Commander Festus Okonkwo, Ghanaian Ambassador Kwame Amoa Awua, Nigerian Ambassador Enny Onubo, Guinean Ambassador Abdoulaye Dore, ECOWAS’ special representative Francis Blaine, Madam Mary Brownell of the MRU Peace Network, and Sierra Leonean Ambassador Patrick Foya.
The ECOWAS Women in their special statement read by their chairlady, Mrs. Nwabudike said, though there exists diversities of culture, that should not divide Africans.
They called on persons still in arms in the country to put down their guns for the sake of their generation.
They also called on those sponsoring subversive acts in the sub-region to desist or else they will feel the weight of the ECOWAS women.
The ECOWAS Women thanked Ghanaian President John Kuffour for his tireless role played in bringing peace to Liberia, and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo for his steadfastness in signing the treaty in 1975 which brought into existence the ECOWAS.
Giving remarks, ECOWAS’ special representative, Francis Blaine gave a brief history of ECOWAS particularly the founding of the body and its objectives and ideals.
But, Mr. Blaine pointed that ECOWAS’ objectives have remained the same today, for which the 16 countries consisting the body have begun to struggle with the formidable challenges of social problems that continue to confront them on a daily basis in the face of about a third of these nations emerging from civil strive or are fighting the devastating effect of ethnic or political insurrection.
He said our sub-region continues to fall prey to the evil machinations which unreasonably rob us of our precious resources while subjecting our people to continuous suffering.
He said many of the nations of the sub-region are successfully forging ahead with sustained efforts directed at developing and consolidating their national development process, adding “this is what all nations should be doing.”
For his part, Nigerian Ambassador Enobu said women always set the stage and the ceremony was no surprise but it is his hope that both men and women of ECOWAS will all come together and create a common ceremony to celebrate the ECOWAS Anniversary.
He said the sub-region can have unity despite its diversity of culture.
The Women of ECOWAS then gowned and sashed those personalities who according to them have played major roles in the peace process especially in the country.