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ECOWAS freezes financial assets of Guinea junta

…as Nigeria insists on short transition

Lawrence Olaoye, Abuja

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has resolved to freeze the financial assets of the members of the military junta in Guinea.

This was disclosed Friday in a release by a Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande.

According to him, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS member states on the political situation in the Republics of Guinea and Mali held in Accra, Ghana on Thursday, urged the leaders to insist on a short transition programme that would usher in a new civilian government in Guinea.

In a communique issued at the end of the extraordinary summit, ECOWAS leaders also resolved to place a travel ban on the junta while also demanding return of Guinea to constitutional rule within six months.

It would be recalled that at the last summit of ECOWAS leaders which held virtually on September 8, Nigeria, also represented by Osinbajo, condemned the coup de‘tat in Guinea, calling for an unconditional release of President Alpha Conde, and for stringent measures on Guinea’s military junta.

Speaking at the Accra summit, Osinbajo restated Nigeria’s position, urging for the unconditional release of President Condé and calling for more pressure to be put on the country’s military leaders to return the nation to democratic rule.

He said: “It is also important that ECOWAS should simply insist that there should be an immediate return to civil rule.”

Calling for more stringent measures to be taken by the sub-regional body, Osinbajo said: “We must make sure that sanctions by ECOWAS achieve the intended objectives.”

He restated the call to engage global bodies and Africa’s development partners in taking steps to prevent such unconstitutional change of government in countries on the continent.

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