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Courtesy Visit By The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) To The ECOWAS Commissioner For Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), His Excellency Ambassador Abdul–Fatau Musah On 26th February 2024 At His Office To Discuss Partnership With ECOWAS As Its Key Partner

The WACSOF team led by its General Secretary, Mr. Kop’ep Dabugat, took the opportunity to recall the origin of the organization emphasizing WACSOF’s role as a complement to ECOWAS in engaging civil society at various levels.

During the visit, Mr. Dabugat highlighted several challenges that WACSOF has encountered since its establishment, pinpointing certain weaknesses in institutional design and organizational development. He also pointed out issues with the Executive Committee’s oversight functions and a lack of adequate financing, illustrating the negative impact of these challenges on WACSOF’s ability to fulfill its mission as the umbrella organization for civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the region.

Of particular concern was the persistent issue involving the former General Secretary, Mr. Komlan Messie. Mr. Dabugat elaborated on the circumstances leading to Mr. Messie’s suspension and subsequent sacking as WACSOF’s General Secretary, urging the PAPS Commissioner to intervene and help resolve the lingering crisis.

In response, the ECOWAS Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security Ambassador Musah acknowledged the fact that WACSOF has been suffering of structural deficiency since inception and because of that, the same problem keeps repeating itself. In another development, Commissioner Musah stated that WACSOF left its original raison d’être as coordinator of civil society networks in West Africa to compete with other CSOs, which needs to stop going. He further revealed that he was surprised at WACSOF’s absence during ECOSSOC – WA’s discussions. However, the Commissioner committed to continued engagement with WACSOF towards a lasting solution to the internal turmoil within WACSOF.

The WACSOF team, comprising the General Secretary Mr. Kop’ep Dabugat, the Communication Officer Mr. John Okoreni, officials from the Nigerian Platform Dr. Sanwo David Olatunji, the National Coordinator, Mr. Omang Dave, the Communication Lead demonstrated a proactive approach in addressing the challenges faced by the organization, seeking constructive dialogue and solutions with ECOWAS representatives. The outcome of this meeting reflects a commitment to reviving and strengthening collaboration between WACSOF and ECOWAS.

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