An official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says the executive secretary of the regional bloc, Mohammed Ibn Chambas will step down as his term will come to an end during Tuesday’s heads of state and government summit in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

ECOWAS Political Director Abdel–Fatau Musah said the regional bloc will also focus on resolving the escalating political crises plaguing the sub-region in countries like Niger, Togo and Ivory Coast.

African leaders at a recent ECOWAS summit.
African leaders at a recent ECOWAS summit.

“Today is a very important summit for ECOWAS on a number of fronts. It is the changing of the baton because one the presidents of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas is actually ending his term and moving on to become the secretary general of the ACP group (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States),” he said.

According to ECOWAS, among the agenda items the heads of state will be discussing are the report of the council of ministers which took place in November 2009 as well as the 2009 annual report of the president of the ECOWAS Commission.

Musah said the regional bloc will also review its internal activities.

“It’s going to be a major review of the integration program in the region…On the other hand, without peace and security …which means the rotating issues of conflicts and constitutional crisis that is plaguing the region will very much be on the agenda today,” Musah said.

Recently, Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe has come under criticism after he single handedly re-scheduled the upcoming vote over sharp disagreements with the opposition on the mode of the vote.

Musah said the regional bloc will discuss ways of resolving Togo’s political impasse.

“Of course we are going to discuss what is happening in Togo today. The elections which were supposed to hold on the 28th of February and which were going to be the very first time after the election of Faure Gnassingbe…has been postponed to fourth of March due to some disagreements… with regards to the voters register… and the key opposition figures have pulled out of the race in protest,” Musah said.