The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has elected Nigeria's President, Muhammadu Buhari, the new Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the union.

President Buhari's election was one of the high-points of the meeting of the ECOWAS on Tuesday in Lome, the capital of Togo. 

A statement by a spokesman for the President, Mr Garba Shehu, announced Buhari's election after the 53rd Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS which held in the Togolese capital.

It was a position that was handed to the Nigerian leader even when he had earlier refused to take it, as indicated in his acceptance speech.

President Buhari commended his colleagues for his election and pointed out that he did not offer himself for the post.

"You refused to take my no for an answer," he said.

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The Nigerian leader, however, told his fellow leaders that he would lead by example.

“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.”

President Buhari also commended his immediate predecessor and President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe 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.

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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.

Before his election, he had called for regional collaboration in the fight against terrorism and cross-border crimes. 

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