The Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) has called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and its member states to engage in more proactive measures to shore up the region’s democracy.

The Foundation made the call in a communiqué issued on Saturday at the end of one-day stakeholder engagement meeting, held in Abuja to review the effectiveness of 20 years of the ECOWAS supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

In a communique, signed by its Executive Director, Ms Ann Iyonu, the foundation called on ECOWAS to ensure that constitutional term limits are enforced and respected in the region.

The GJF also called on ECOWAS and member states to prioritize preventive diplomacy and take pre-election assessment more seriously.

That, according to the foundation, will present an opportunity to mitigate political-related violence in the sub-region.

It called on ECOWAS and its member States to be “proactive by intervening whenever democracy is being threatened, before it leads to tension, rather than the current method of intervention when a coup has occurred.

The communique also suggested that “ECOWAS should consider having a peer review mechanism,.

“This should be done like the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which highlights practices and success stories across member states of the AU, and advises on best practices on growing issues.”

“There is a need for review of what and how popular participation should be defined and adopted both at the sub-national levels and states across the ECOWAS region.

“ECOWAS needs to take deliberate steps to create a space for Civil Society Organisations to present recommendations and actively participate in its summit in an organized manner.”

On the reason behind the recent negative trend of erosion of democracy in the region, the foundation noted that: “some military coups have become successful because of the general perception that the government was not delivering its democratic promises.

“There is a growing anger among citizens from the region and this issue needs to be duly considered because of its potential resultant effect to the region’s democracy.”

The GJF called on leaders in the region to pay attention to citizens’ welfare as “good governance remains the best strategy to safeguard democracy and serves as the best approach towards maintaining peace and stability in the region.

The communique noted that participants at the meeting were drawn from different West African countries, including Liberia, the Gambia, Mali, Guinea and Nigeria.