ECOWAS Speaker opens up on killings, bad governance
Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Tunis has tasked Members of the Regional Parliament on actionable solutions to ending the insecurity, bad governance and other challenges confronting the sub-region.
Tunis made the call at the opening of the 2022 First Ordinary Session of the Parliament on Thursday in Abuja, stressing that there must be a change from just “talk shops” to actions.
Tunis, who lamented the spate of insecurity and political instability in Member Countries, said that citizens were counting on Parliamentarians and people in authorities for solutions.
“As you are aware, our Parliamentary Sessions provides us with the opportunity to discuss wide ranging topical issues of the Community and render opinion on a number of referrals that have been presented to us.
“The Supplementary Act provides that we shall reflect our views on issues of the Community by Opinion or Mandatory Assent.
“The onus is, therefore, upon us to support policies that address these day-to-day issues. It has become evident that our people are much more concerned with the decisions we make and the ripple down effects they have on them.
“Each time I travel across the region, I am confronted with the hard questions: What is ECOWAS doing about food shortages?
“What is ECOWAS doing about rising prices of food and energy? What is ECOWAS doing about poverty eradication? among others.
“These are the questions we must address. Not only with policy formulations and conferences, but with actionable solutions that are indisputable.
“As we do our work over the next few days, I pray we place much more emphasis on practical results. We cannot afford to fail our people,” Tunis said.
Tunis also condemned the recent act of terrorism and banditry in Nigeria and other countries of the region, which he said has caused a major setback in the affected countries.
“On a sad note, terrorism, kidnapping and banditry continue to cause major setbacks for security in the region. In Burkina Faso, Mali and the Federal Republic of Nigeria the situation has worsen.
“We condemn the recent attack on the Kaduna International Airport and the Abuja-Kaduna train that led to the loss of innocent lives and injuring to many others;
“The gruesome attack at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo State that led to the killing of many, and many others unfortunate deaths across the region.
“We thank the Nigerian government for its continued efforts in fighting the perpetrators of evil and call for increased vigilance in areas that are susceptible to threats,” he said.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Brou commended the Members of Parliament working tirelessly during several of its sessions to discuss burning issues confronting the sub-region for possible solutions.
Brou who was represented by Vice President of the Commission, Finda Koroma lamented the security situation in member states, pledging the unwavering support of the Commission to also finding solutions.
“Despite all the progress our Member States are making in running of their countries, our region continues to face numerous challenges in the areas of security, humanitarian, political and economic affairs.
“We, therefore, welcome the Accra Initiative as well as other efforts by our member states to fight the menace,” Brou said
Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, also tasked Members of the Parliament to leverage on their positions to effect the desired change for the sub-region.
“It is important for the Parliament to set the pace for better understanding of the role of the legislature in governance.
“It is time to start thinking outside the box to understand the role of parliament in democracy,” Gbajabiamila said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2022 First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament from June 9 to July 2 seeks to deliberate on draft community regulations emanating from the Commission.
Other agenda for discuss includes; examining community strategies targeted at improving governance, address issues of unconstitutional change of governance, insecurity, and proffer solutions towards democratic consolidation in the sub-region.