r Bonny Abisogun-Botoku, Secretary-General, Nigeria-Republic of Benin Inter-border Forum, has called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to promote policies that will ensure seamless travels within the region.
Abisogun-Botoku, who made the call in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos, said that it was high time ECOWAS leaders facilitated free movement of people as enshrined in the regional protocol.
“Beyond the rhetoric, ECOWAS leaders must be committed to the treaty signed by all parties.
“Activities on regional integration, growth and development should be taken as seriously as possible to entrench regional growth.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the secretary-general made the call at the maiden Mahindi Carnival held from April 28 and May 1 at Agboville, Côte d’Ivoire.
The secretary-general praised the organisers of the carnival, emphasising the need for regional integration through tourism and cultural promotion.
He noted that the carnival was initiated by the International House of the Agneby-Tiassa Region (MIRAT), in collaboration with the ECOWAS Regional Council.
Abisogun-Botoku, who doubles as the Leader of the Africa Integration Arts Palace and Tour Cultural Troupe, expressed satisfaction that the troupe projected Nigeria well in cultural performances.
He said that the troupe celebrated Nigeria’s culture, showcasing some of the cultural heritage of its various tribes and reinforcing the need for harmonious living among the ethnic groups.
He praised the Ivorian Minister of Health Pierre N’gou Dimba, for his passion for art and culture.
He noted that countries that participated in the carnival included Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Senegal and Martinique.
Earlier, the Ivorian Minister of Health, Dimba, expressed delight at the exhibition of talents by troupes at the event.
The carnival featured singing, fanfares, storytelling and cultural performances from participating countries. (NAN)