West African regional bloc ECOWAS has chosen Nigerian President Bola Tinubu as its new chairman at a time of deepening insecurity, including military coups and terrorism, in the region.

West Africa has witnessed six successful military coups since 2020, marking a backslide of democracy in a region that had been seen to be making progress in shedding its "coup belt" moniker.

Tinubu, who was voted in on Sunday and takes over from President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea-Bissau, called for swift action against insecurity including terrorism and coups in West Africa which he said had reached "alarming proportion."

"On peace and security, the threat has reached an alarming level and needs urgent actions in addressing the challenges. In this regard, we must remain committed to the utilisation of all regional frameworks at our disposal to address the menace of insecurity,” he said in a statement on Monday.

Tinubu pledged to prioritise political stability, peace and security and regional economic integration in the 16-member ECOWAS.

(Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing Elisha Bala-Gbogbo)