Ecowas Parliament’s Ordinary Session Underway In Abuja

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The fifth legislature of the Ecowas Parliament is convening its second ordinary session of 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria, to discuss various pressing matters, confronting the sub-region. 

During the session, community parliamentarians, among other matters, will deliberate on the Draft Community Consolidated Budget for 2024 and ensure that it is directed at programmes that will impact the sub-region.  During the session, Members will also discuss the progress of the Community’s integration programme.

Speaking at the opening session on Wednesday, 22 November 2022, Dr Omar AlieuTouray, the president of the Ecowas Commission said the resurgence of coup d’états has challenged them as Parliamentarians all in more ways than one and has led them to reflect on what is not working in the process of consolidating democracy. 

Dr. Touray, who was speaking in Abuja at the opening of the 2023 Second Ordinary Session of the Ecowas Parliament, made a renewed call for regional solidarity and cooperation in order to consolidate democracy, peace, security, and development within the region. He commended the leadership and parliamentarians of the Ecowas Commission Parliament for making them visible and relevant to the people. The Gambian-born Ecowas Commission head said the region continues to suffer from setbacks by armed groups and terrorists, leaving many dead and homeless, reminding them as politicians to guide the Ecowas Commission on what must be done to tackle the root causes of all these unconstitutional changes of Government. 

 “We count on your wisdom to help in safeguarding the rights of our people and for the preservation of peace, security, and stability necessary for our socio-economic development and regional integration process,” Dr. Touray said.

Despite the challenges faced, Sidi Mohammed Tunis, the Speaker of the Ecowas Parliament said, they continue to deliver on their mandate to address the emerging issues that threaten the sub-region. 

On the political situation in Niger, Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso, Speaker Tunis said the Parliament’s position is always aligned with the Ecowas Commission.

“In the area of democracy and the rule of law, we must accept the reality that the existence of strong democratic institutions, respect for human rights, and the rule of law, ultimately determines security and development. Our democracy can only thrive if we hold each other accountable for our actions. As a result, we must seek out and cherish what unites us as a region and people,” he told Members.

Senator Jibrin Barau, Deputy President of the Nigeria Senate, said he hopes the outcome of the session will result in concrete action for the progress and development of the region and beyond.

Delivering solidarity messages, Justice Edward Asante, the President of the Ecowas Court of Justice spoke against military takeovers of Governments and said the Community Court stands ready to consolidate democracy, the rule of law, and good governance. 

Sengepoh Solomon Thomas, the Deputy Speaker of the Sierra Leonean National Assembly, applauded the Community Parliament for its work and urged Parliamentarians to be more proactive in promoting the implementation of all the protocols and treaties.