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Tinubu Urges Strong Representation In ECOWAS Parliament For Unity In W’Africa

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President Bola Tinubu has urged the member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to come together, strengthen their ties, and oppose those who seek to create division within the community.

The head of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Tinubu, made this statement on Thursday at the inauguration of the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja. He stressed the importance of bolstering regional solidarity in order to improve the efficacy and resilience of the bloc at this pivotal moment.

According to a statement by his spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu stressed that member nations cannot afford to watch helplessly as the community is in danger of breaking apart.

The President said: “We stand united against such forces and are committed to ensuring that our unity remains unshaken. We must ensure that cooperation amongst us is strengthened, with a view to building a sense of common destiny and purpose. No one can do this for us. We must come together.

“To this extent, reinforcing the legitimacy of the decisions taken by the Authority of Heads of State is key in sending a message that ECOWAS is one indivisible body. It is also very important that the executives, on the other hand, show similar confidence in the Parliament, which would indeed deepen democracy in our region. Meanwhile, in the midst of ongoing challenges, our partnership can be a driving force for stability, growth, and prosperity in our region.”

Tinubu Urges Strong Representation In ECOWAS Parliament For Unity In W’Africa
President Tinubu, Nigeria’s Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, and other members of the ECOWAS Parliament after the inauguration of the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament, on Thursday in Abuja.

He reaffirmed Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to the aspirations of the community and, by extension, the fundamental objectives upon which the ECOWAS Parliament was established.

President Tinubu affirmed the critical role the ECOWAS Parliament plays in the bloc’s progress toward a future of prosperity and peace for all, emphasizing that success is impossible without the devoted support and diligent work of the legislative branch of the community.

READ ALSO: ECOWAS: Tinubu Opens Borders, Lifts Sanctions On Niger

“Furthermore, to realize the ECOWAS ‘Vision 2050’, we require greater involvement of the people in the decision-making processes of the community. That can only be achieved through their duly elected representatives who, being members of their national parliaments, are seconded to the community parliament. We are here, collectively, to serve all the good and great people of West Africa.

“I am aware that the ECOWAS Parliament is seeking enhanced powers, primarily through the election of its members by direct universal suffrage. This will increase the role parliamentarians must play and the responsibilities that they will assume in advancing our regional development objectives, particularly in harmonizing laws and regulations across the member states.

“Indeed, the practice of directly electing public officials aligns with the democratic principles that Nigeria upholds, as it enhances the legitimacy of our democratic institutions. This principle is also in line with the spirit of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. As a one-time legislator myself, I look forward to reviewing a proposal regarding this matter, and we stand ready to support direct elections into the ECOWAS Parliament. We believe this would ensure that citizens have a direct say in their representation – in addition to the legitimacy and credibility such a process will confer,” the President said.

 inauguration of the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament, on Thursday in Abuja
Sixth ECOWAS Parliament inauguration in Abuja on Thursday, April 4, 2024

The ECOWAS leader also stated that Nigeria, as the host of the community’s institution, will continue to support the Parliament to achieve its objectives.

“I am aware of the plan to have all ECOWAS institutions in one complex and of the good progress that has been made. Nigeria is also working to meet its responsibilities in constructing the ECOWAS Parliament’s Headquarters in Abuja within the same complex.

“I would like to emphasize that, as you conduct the business of the 6th Legislature, it is my hope that your discussions will provide you the opportunity to address the prime concerns of the region and come up with resolutions that will lead to the attainment of peace and the advancement of all. You can stand assured that Nigeria is always ready to support the ECOWAS Parliament, in whatever endeavours you are engaged in, to move the ECOWAS mission forward,” the President stated.


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