ECOWAS Parliament pledges to strengthen community institutions

Adoba Echono, Abuja

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The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has pledged to strengthen community institutions to deliver on its statutory mandate to the people of the region.

The Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis, stated this while closing, the 2022 First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, Nigeria.

The First Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Ahmed Idris Wase who closed the session on behalf of the Speaker, Dr. Tunis, expressed satisfaction with the work done by lawmakers especially in the technical discussions leading to the conclusions of the Community Parliament’s advisory opinion on the referrals made by ECOWAS Commission

According to Dr. Tunis, “We need to take back control of our lives and the future of our region. “Consequently, Community Institutions, as vehicles of the integration process, must be made to function efficiently towards fulfilling their respective mandates to the people.

“As was stated in my opening address, the first step towards attaining full parliamentary status is the direct election of members to the ECOWAS Parliament. This also means that we must step up the task at hand. We must work relentlessly to ensure that our efforts yield the needed dividend”.

 The Speaker said the Community’s integration and development is indeed a collective task that must continue to be improved upon by all stakeholders.

“It is our fervent desire that our sub-region would continue to soar high until we attain the desired height. In the last few days, this Parliament was able to adopt the Report of the 2022 First Extraordinary Session, Reports of Standing Committees, Joint Committees and Ad Hoc Committees. I am proud of the work done by Members of Parliament, especially in the technical discussions leading to the conclusion of Parliament’s Advisory Opinion on the referrals made by the ECOWAS Commission, covering a variety of subjects.

“As Members of Parliament, our major responsibility is to represent the people and work towards the transformation of our Community into a self-sufficient, sustainable, prosperous, and peaceful sub-region,” he said.

Dr. Tunis also congratulated all Members who won their respective seats at the just concluded parliamentary elections in some ECOWAS Member States.

While employing them not to betray the trust reposed on them by their constituents, the Speaker urged them to “serve well, lead well, and represent adequately”.

He also commended the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, for presenting the report on the status of the implementation of the Community Work Programme, which adequately covered ECOWAS programmes and projects.

The Community Parliament also called for member states to coordinate actions towards ending terrorism in the region.

This is coming as the parliament condemned the resurging terrorist attacks in some member countries which have led to humanitarian crisis with massive displacement of West African citizens.

The resolution reads “Mindful of the protocol relating to mechanism and prevention, management of conflict resolution, peacekeeping and security, it (parliament) is convinced that as a representation of the population of West African people, it has to promote peace and security, democracy and good governance – essential factors to achieve regional integration objectives.

“Mindful of Article 15 of the Supplementary Act relating to the strengthening of the powers of the Parliament of ECOWAS and being concerned with the resurgence of terrorist acts in the West African region as well as the loss of human lives that they cause and all other problems that are seen among the civilians, and considering the massive displacement of population within the sub-region, and after deliberating and adopting the following resolutions, Article one, condemns the recent deadly terrorist attacks in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso which extends up to Cote d’ Ivoire, Togo, and Benin.

“Article two, expresses sincere condolences to victims and their families and the governments of affected countries

“Article three, affirms that the effectiveness against the fight against terrorism depends on the strengthening of the cooperation of the states.

“Article four, requests the member states to coordinate their actions with a view to preventing and bringing to an end the terrorism in our community.

“Article five, supports concerted actions taken by our member states to be able to bring down the scourge of terrorism.”

The parliament charged the speaker to transmit its resolutions to the President of the ECOWAS Commission for onward submission to the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.

The resurgence of terrorism and insecurity in the region; proferring solutions to the menace; examining community strategies targeted at improving governance; and the unconstitutional change of government,  were among issues at the forefront of discourse during the session.

 

The session which opened on June 9, was aimed at deliberating on draft community regulations emanating from the commission.

 

 

 

 

 

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