Ouagadougou – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has lauded the ability of ECOWAS leaders to ensure an authentic democratic transition in Burkina Faso after 30 years of military rule.
Osinbajo said this in an interview with newsmen after the inauguration of President Mr Rock Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Ouaga 2000 Stadium in Ouagadougou on Tuesday.
“I think it is a very great occasion. It is a wonderful day indeed for West Africa and indeed for Africa because after 30 years of military rule in one form or the other, we now have a transition to an authentic civil democracy, which is incredible indeed.
“And the fact that all these happened with the active collaboration of ECOWAS states without any outside interference, is a great thing indeed.
“I think that in many senses, ECOWAS has come of age. It shows that ECOWAS is able to resolve its disputes and to advance its own causes.
“This is excellent indeed. So it is a very wonderful day and I congratulate the President on this great occasion and of course the people of Burkina Faso, who stood their ground and insisted on democracy.’’
The vice president also acknowledged the key role President Muhammadu Buhari played in halting the coup d’etat, which took place in the country, saying the stand of the Nigerian leader had ensured the installation of an enduring democratic rule in the country.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, of course, was at the table and was probably one of the key persons, who brought about this.
“As a matter of fact the Burkinabes agreed that he played such a significant role in enabling this to happen.
“Even from the time of their elections we aided the electoral committee logistically and in various other ways and the President was firm about the issue of the coup.
“He was very firm and of course you know that he was possibly one of the active negotiators in ensuring that the coup did not stand.
“So our relationships will be much stronger. I think the Burkinabe people understand the role that we have played and are very appreciative.’’
Osinbajo, who represented Buhari at the inauguration, said that the ECOWAS sub-region had come of age democratically and that the people of Burkina Faso had proved to be genuinely interested in good governance.
“They have been courageous; they have fought to see this day and they deserve all the congratulations and all the commendation.
“I think the people did an excellent outing; they stood their ground; but for that we probably wouldn’t be here today.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Kabore, who spoke in French, pledged to restore the past glory of the country and entrench transparency and promote democracy.
Kabore, who described the event as the beginning of “a new dawn”, pledged that liberty, equity, justice, and national reconciliation would be his watchwords. (NAN)