Ambassador Babatunde Olanrewaju Ajisomo observed that Liberia was one of the first countries to sign the ECOWAS Protocol in 1975, affirming its membership to the regional economic bloc.
He stressed that considering the strategic role Liberia played during the formation of the ECOWAS, it would be prudent for the country to maximize its benefits of integration and minimize its risks since integration is always associated with risks and benefits.
In remarks when he paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara recently, the ECOWAS envoy observed that the regional body is now at the stage of transition in terms of statutory appointments where preparations are underway to usher in a new president of the ECOWAS Commission who hails from Benin.
The ECOWAS Ambassador congratulated Liberia for nominating a well-seasoned and experienced candidate to head the Infrastructure Committee of the ECOWAS Commission in person of Dr. Angelique Weeks.
He further disclosed that the vice president’s position previously occupied by Dr. T. G. McIntosh has now been given to The Gambia, while the presidential slot of the Commission is being occupied by Benin.
He noted that they are expected to take office in Abuja, Nigeria shortly.
According to Ambassador Ajisomo, ECOWAS Heads of State and Government during one of their deliberations took a firm position on the presidential tenure.
He said ECOWAS leaders agreed that no leader in any of its member states as well as officials of the commission should elongate his/herself in power.
He indicated that those holding current positions at the Commission will continue to serve up to 2018 so that by 2018 the Commission would consider rotating positions among member countries.
The envoy, however, called on the minister to prevail on other relevant stakeholders in the Liberian government bureaucracy to ensure that the over 14 treaties and protocols submitted by ECOWAS for ratification are ratified, saying “Liberia has benefited from some of these treaties and conventions.”
The ECOWAS Ambassador thanked Foreign Minister Kamara for the warm reception and audience, which was intended to apprise her of ongoing developments taking place at the level of ECOWAS.