President Muhammadu Buhari has emerged chairman of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS).
He was elected at the 53rd ordinary session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Lome, Togo.
It was reported that Buhari would vie for the position.
A diplomatic source had said at a dinner on Monday night, some of the West African diplomats had a long discussion with Buhari and persuaded him to run but senior government officials denied knowledge of it.
In his acceptance remarks, the Nigerian leader, who commended his colleagues for his election, noted that he did not offer himself for the post, “but you refused to take my no for an answer.”
He, however, told his fellow leaders that, “I am truly humbled and pledge to serve and work with all of you to deliver on peace, security, good governance and socio-economic development” of the sub-region, and “take our organisation to greater heights.”
Buhari also commended President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, his predecessor, for successfully hosting two “important meetings” of the Joint Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and ECOWAS as well as the 53rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.
The new chairman had earlier been presented with the emblem of ECOWAS by the outgoing chairman, while the next meeting of the organisation will take place in Abuja on December 21, 2018.