Olonisakin heads ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff

Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff, on Wednesday appointed Nigeria Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin as the new chairman of the committee.

The handing over and acceptance ceremony was held at the 39th Ordinary Meeting of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS) at the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.

Mrs Nuratu Batagarawa, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Defence, welcomed the guests on behalf of the Federal Government, saying that it was a great honour to host the Chiefs of Defence Staff.

She said that the meeting was significant because it would review the security challenges in the region and also proffer solutions.

She, however, congratulated the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin on his appointment, noting that the country has confidence in his leadership.

“The attendance at the meeting signify the importance attached to the collective regional security issues, this meeting is meant to review our collective security challenges and proffer solutions on strategies toward addressing them.

“Let me use this opportunity to congratulate Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin on his appointment as the chairman of CCDS, we are confident in your leadership and we wish you success in the task ahead.’’

Earlier, Olonisakin, in his acceptance speech, said that it was a great privilege for Nigeria to assume the leadership and the chairmanship.

“It is indeed a great honour and privilege for Nigeria to assume the chairmanship of the ECOWAS CCDS.

“It is a personal honour for me as the Chief of Defence staff Nigeria to serve in this capacity.

“I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to Chair this great committee for the next few months. “

He said that he was aware of the numerous security challenges the region was facing, calling for the support of the committee members to tackle those challenges.

“I am also aware of the numerous challenges facing our region in the areas of security and development and I am glad I have this quality of colleagues seated here to tackle these challenges with me.

“Over the years the ECOWAS CCDS have collectively engineered ideas to charge a better course for collective security in the region.

“I am confident that with our commitment, support and leadership of our political leaders we will achieve our ultimate goal of a better secured ECOWAS region, “ he stated.

Also, General Francis Behanzin, The Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, ECOWAS Commission, congratulated the newly appointed chairman.

He said that the ECOWAS President wished to be in attendance but he had to go to Guinea Bissau to ensure peace in the region.

Behanzin said that some of the members state were faced with political tensions, which could generate to conflicts.

He said that in view of the security threat in the region, there was a need for collective collaboration to tackle them and ensure peace.

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