Dr Omar Alieu Touray, the president of the Ecowas Commission, said, “The resurgence of coup d’états has challenged us all in more ways than one and led us to reflect on what is not working in our process of consolidating democracy.”
He spoke in Abuja at the opening of the 2023 Second Ordinary Session of the Ecowas Parliament, with a renewed call for regional solidarity and cooperation to consolidate democracy, peace, security, and development within the region.
Ecowas Parliament is convening its second ordinary Session of 2023 in Abuja to discuss various pressing matters confronting the sub-region.
During the Session, community Parliamentarians, among other issues, will deliberate on the Draft Community Consolidated Budget for 2024 to ensure it is directed at programmes that will impact the sub-region. Members will also discuss the progress of the Community’s integration programme.
The Ecowas Commission president commended the leadership and Parliamentarians for making the Parliament visible and relevant to the people.
The Gambia-born Ecowas Commission head said the region continues to suffer from setbacks by armed groups and terrorists, leaving many dead and homeless.
As politicians, he reminded them they are best suited to guide the Ecowas Commission on what must be done to tackle the root causes of all these unconstitutional government changes. “We count your wisdom to help in safeguarding the rights of our people and for the preservation of peace, security, and stability, which are necessary for our socio-economic development and regional integration process,” said President Touray.
Despite the challenges faced, Sidi Mohammed Tunis, Speaker of the Ecowas Parliament, said the Parliament continues to deliver on its mandate to address emerging issues threatening the sub-region. On the political situations 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 that strong democratic institutions, respect for human rights, and the rule of law ultimately determine 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 the Session.
Senator Jibrin Barau, Deputy President of the Nigeria Senate, hopes the outcome of the Session will result in concrete actions 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 the military takeover of governments and said the Community Court stands ready to consolidate democracy, the rule of law, and good governance.
Sengepoh Solomon Thomas, Deputy Speaker of the Sierra Leone National Assembly, applauded the Community Parliament for its work and urged Parliamentarians to be more proactive in promoting the implementation of protocols and treaties.