ECOWAS urged to pay attention to political concerns in Senegal


By Elsie Appiah-Osei

GNA Special Correspondent in Abuja, Nigeria

Abuja, May 13, GNA-Mr Edwin Melvin Snowe Jr., Chairman, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament’s Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and African Peer Review Mechanism, has urged the sub-regional bloc to pay attention to the political situation in Senegal.

He said the situation was becoming alarming, which calls on ECOWAS for a timely intervention to avert the same situation recurring in Member States.

He has also called for respect for freedom of speech among Member States.

Mr Snowe Jr. made the call when Dr Omar Alieu Touray, President, ECOWAS Commission, presented the State of the Community report to the Community Parliament at the 2023 First Ordinary Session of Parliament underway in Abuja-Nigeria.

His presentation was informed under Article 32 of the Supplementary Act of the ECOWAS Parliament which enhances the powers of the Community Parliament.

That also allows Members of Parliament (MPs) to ask critical questions about happenings within the sub-region and how they should be addressed.

At each Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament, the President of the Commission presents a general report on the state of implementation of the Community Work Programme.

The presentation of the State of the Community report provides an opportunity for MPs as representatives of the ECOWAS citizens to track and oversee the implementation programmes of the community.

2023 First Ordinary Session of Parliament, which opened on Monday, May 8 2023 and is expected to end on Friday, May 26 had been convened under Article 21.1 of the Supplementary Act relating to the enhancement of the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament, which provided that Parliament should meet twice a year in Ordinary Sessions to provide a platform to deliberate and strengthen Member States’ position on issues of regional and continental importance.

Mr Awaji-Inombek D. Abiante, a Member of the Nigerian delegation to the Community Parliament expressed worry about some development in the sub-region that affected the election of ECOWAS MPs when in the middle of term constitutions were changed.

In addition, he commended the relations that existed between the ECOWAS Parliament and ECOWAS Commission.

Mr Abiante however, urged that the relations should not develop to the extent where the Parliament would renege on its direct responsibilities.

“Parliament should not have its own House and go and stay in its Neighbour’s house, we cannot hold others accountable when we are not accountable to ourselves the relations should be good,” he said.

As provided for in Article 32 of the supplementary Act, the Session also provides the President of the ECOWAS Commission to present a general report on the implementation of the Community Work Programme to the Plenary where the House would be updated with developments in the Community, which was usually followed by debates, expressed opinions and recommendations.

Further, National Delegates also have the opportunity to present their country’s reports as a means of informing the Body on unfolding developments in their respective Member States and the status of implementation of their community’s texts.



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