Former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon and founding father of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has lauded President Bola Tinubu for uniting the bloc under his watch.

Gowon spoke at the inauguration of the Academy of International Affairs (AIA), a foreign policy think-thank founded by former Foreign Affairs Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, on Monday in Abuja.

He said the inauguration of AIA with President Tinubu as ECOWAS Chairman and who recently achieved a foreign policy milestone by making efforts to forestall its disintegration, was highly commendable.

Gen. Gowon said that the event resonated with him, and was reminiscent of when he laid the foundation for the establishment of ECOWAS on May 27, 1975 alongside 14 other West African leaders.

“I must commend President Bola Tinubu for all the foreign policy initiatives he made, which have kept ECOWAS together in the face of recent challenges.

“I implore the President to continue to ensure that Nigeria’s voice remains audible and its influence felt in international relations.”

The former leader, who was the chairman of the occasion, also lauded the President of AIA, Prof Akinyemi for his tireless efforts towards birthing the academy.

“I have closely followed Prof. Akinyemi’s international relations career over the years. His intellectual prowess is unmatched, he is resolute and undaunted in whatever he does,” he said.

Gowon, who also conferred an Honorary Fellow of the academy on Afreximbank President, Prof. Benedict Oramah and other distinguished Fellows, said the event was a recognition of deserved persons.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, commended  Akinyemi for his vision, efforts and dedication towards ensuring that Nigeria’s Foreign Policy was constantly put on the front burner through various intellectual activities.

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