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ECOWAS lawmakers lament over truant Nigeria delegations, first Deputy Speaker

Lawmakers at the First Ordinary Session of the fourth legislature, for this year have lamented and express serious reservation about the truant nature of the Nigerian delegation and the First Deputy Speaker Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff.

Nigeria has thirty-five lawmakers in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament but always have less than ten lawmakers in a session.

Speaker Mustapha Cisse Lo last year complained bitterly about the attendance of the Nigerian delegation to the session.

Former Speaker of the Liberian legislature and Leader of the current delegation to the sub-region Parliament, Edwin Marvin Snow Junior made a passionate apple for his colleagues to take the sitting of the House serious.

“As Nigeria has thirty-five members (35), never have they had more than ten (10) members in a session, all of us here have responsibilities back at home all of us here are obligated and committed to our countries and we are different leaders in our countries, but we come to Nigeria, Nigerians do not come to session”.

He further pointed out that Monday when Liberia presented its country report, the third Deputy Speaker Prince Yomie Johnson was talked about, “true he is not showing up equally speaking the First Deputy Speaker Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff Nigerian is perpetually absent”, he lamented.

According to him, the development is not good for their, adding “when Nigeria was giving its country report if you notice, a few of our colleagues came but few minutes after signing they left, “what is equally painful is that we stay in corridor some of the Nigeria senators and representatives come out of their vehicles they sign in the attendance, they turn out into their vehicles they drive out”.

“We all here are responsible people, we all have commitment to our countries, we want the Nigeria delegation here to make commitment to us her today, that moving forward they would attend session, we have responsibilities like them back in our country when we come here we all receive equal allowance and sitting fee and we should all do the work equally”.

Meanwhile, the house adopted the last country reports even though majority of members were not too happy because, they wanted the issue of truancy of Nigerian MPs to ECOWAS Parliament addressed.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com/Abuja

Bagbin visits health facilities at Nadowli/Kaleo

Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament for Nadowli/Kaleo Alban S. K Bagbin on Thursday paid a working visit to some selected health facilities in his constituency.

He started from the Nadowli/Kaleo District Hospital, where he met and interacted with staff and management of the hospital.

After interacting and listening to their concerns and challenges, recommendations and commendations, he took a tour of the various units of the hospital to familiarize himself with the condition of the facility.

Mr. Bagbin promised to continue his support to the hospital, intimating that education and health have been his main focus ever since he took the mandate of leadership.

Reflecting on how far healthcare promotion have come, he clearly narrated how people used to wake him up at night to take patients to as far as Jirapa hospital to seek medical care. And further added how poor the Nadowli hospital was when he first took over as MP, and pointed out how they used to mix potash with muddy pond water before it could be used in the hospital.

He promise to contribute to the welfare scheme of the workers to motivate them to do more and further thanked the staff for the sacrifices they made to make the hospital a place of choice for health care delivery.

The Second Deputy Speakers also inspected the Charikpong clinic which is undergoing renovation works on two nurses’ quarters, and was happy work has far advance and assured the nurses and the assigned physician assistant of they soon getting convenient place to stay.

Due to lack of a physician assistant and some basic things, the Charikpong clinic which the MP was assisting to be converted to a polyclinic was recently downgraded by government.

Mr. Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin released some funds for the renovation of the two nurses’ bungalows and further inspected extended construction works ongoing at the clinic and promise them motor bike to assist their work.

The next visit took the Nadowli/ Kaleo lawmaker to Jang where he interacted with staffs and inspected various units of hospital.

In addition, he highly commended the in-charge for how well he organized the facility and promised to do his bit to uplift the facility to the status of a polyclinic and get them a refrigerator and a desktop computer.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

Parliament to resume from recess 28th May

Parliament would resume back from recess on Tuesday May 28, 2019 for the second meeting of the third session of the seventh Parliament of the fourth Republic.

In a statement signed on behalf of the Speaker Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, first Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu noted that the recall is in accordance with standing order 37 of Parliament.

“Right Honorable Speaker of Parliament hereby give notice that the second meeting of the third session of the seventh Parliament of the fourth Republic will commence on Tuesday 28th May, 2019 at ten o’clock in the forenoon at Parliament House Accra”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

EIU Polls: Mahama is coming back — Dr. Pelpuo

Member of Parliament for Wa Central, Rashid Pelpuo has said despite the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) survey pointing to the fact that incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo would win the upcoming 2020 Presidential polls, the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama is coming back as President of Ghana.

On his twitter account he pointed out that it had happened before, when in 2008 late professor John Mills had no resources, “his vehicles ran on fuel contributions”.

The EIU polls were against him “Nana” (President Nana Akufo-Addo) then candidate was fully loaded and ran on excess liquidity.

“EIU was reading positive polls for him (Nana Akufo-Addo) but he lost to late professor John Atta Mills who won that elections”.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has predicted re-election victory for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2020.

EIU said in a report on Ghana released recently that “Nana Akufo-Addo, the president, and his NPP will see the country’s economic situation generally improve during the remainder of their terms of office.

In the presidential election, it says Akufo-Addo will face a challenge from John Mahama— Ghana’s president from 2012 to early 2017, who was elected leader of the opposition NDC in February 2019.”

The report released on May 13, 2019, stated further that “the 2016 legislative election was won by the NPP; and the campaign was dominated by the faltering economy, which many Ghanaians still associate with Mr. Mahama.”

Accordingly, “The Economist Intelligence Unit believes that it will be difficult for the NDC under Mr. Mahama to portray itself as the better custodian of Ghana’s economy, especially as the country’s growth outlook is fairly strong.”

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

ECOWAS: Committee on Political Affairs meets to discuss security issues

Members of the committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and African Peer Review Mechanism met with the commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security from ECOWAS Commission General Francis Behanzin.

Their discussion focused on peace and security situation across the West African sub-region in the wake of presenting country report where security became a matter of worry for the community lawmakers.

The committee met during the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament first ordinary session of the fourth legislature underway in Abuja, Nigeria.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

ECOWAS PARLIAMENT: We will get to elect MPs soon — Kofi Humado

As the debate over absenteeism of Members of Parliament (MPs) rages on in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, a member of the Community Parliament representing Ghana, Clement Kofi Humado is positive that eventually the institution would get to the point of electing lawmakers outside their national Parliaments.

“ECOWAS Commission and Authority of Heads of States with their help we would eventually, get to that direction”, he said in an interview.

Mr. Clement Kofi Humado further pointed out that “one is already provided for in our protocols that established the community Parliament, the only issue is how to get money and the will to implement it, the provision is already there so it is not a new provision”.

“We need to improve and add value, so we need to adjust the budget either through a little bit of increase through the community levy, which I am hearing that under the leadership of President Alassane Ouattara Is being increase from 0.05 to 0.08 if that is true then more money would be expected from member countries”.

He added that this can offset the increase in the budget to arise from the proposal of getting permanent MPs outside national Assemblies and advocated for mandatory compliance, “member countries would have to pay their levies on time that is part of the problem we have now”.

“Some member countries are not paying on time, therefore we are not having enough revenue for ECOWAS Commission and its institutions”.

And emphasised that electing MPs outside national Assemblies is an agenda in the ECOWAS protocol for 2021, adding it is a matter of strategy and the question of will.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com

“Let us stop adopting country report in isolation ECOWAS Parliament”—Ogola

A representative of Nigeria in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Foster Ogola has cautioned against the community Parliament adopting country reports in isolation.

According to Senator Ogola country reports give a factual picture of current happenings in countries within the West African sub-region, hence reading country reports without any further action at the end of every plenary session, whether Ordinary or Extra Ordinary session, “is not helpful”.

Senator Forster Ogola made this remarks on the floor of the House on Saturday May 12, 2019, at the ongoing First Ordinary Session, of the community Parliament of the Fourth legislature in Abuja – Nigeria when Benin, Togo and Burkina Faso presented their country reports.

“There should be a presentation of communiqué, which would generate reports sent to the Authority of Heads of states for action. It would help us also pass resolutions for adoption”.

He further indicated that he was moving a motion in that regard, which saw the Second Deputy Speaker Aminata Kamara Toungara interjecting and putting off his microphone.

Senator Foster Ogola kept on complaining, “my microphone is off”, when his colleagues kept complaining that they could not hear him, more especially when those francophone, lawmakers needed interpreters to translate to them what he was saying.

Mr. Mahama Ayariga, one of Ghana’s representative when he caught the eye of the Second Deputy Speaker Aminata Kamara Toungara pointed out to his colleague it was not the proper timing for a motion to be moved.

“You cannot bring a motion in the middle of question time, the rules of the House does not permit that, craft a motion to the Speaker for adoption, it would be presented to the House for debate’, he advised.

Second Deputy Speaker, pointed out that, that was the reason why she kept interrupting and advised that the rules should be complied with.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com/Abuja

ECOWAS Parliament: Benin narrowly escapes rejection of country report

Benin narrowly escaped rejection of their country report for adoption on Saturday May 11, 2019 at the ongoing Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament First Ordinary Session of the fourth legislature this year in Abuja Nigeria.

Lawmakers at the community Parliament during question time after Benin presented its report in the company of Togo and Burkina Faso wanted to know the current political situation in that country.

Out of the fifteen MPs who asked questions on the floor of the House, ten expressed worry about the political situation in Benin, issue of post-election violence; and MPs wanted to know measures being taken to address them.

Other MPs called on ECOWAS Parliament to look into the situation in Benin and advice Authority of Heads of States to work measures to avoid post-election violence, adding the fire brigade approach should be avoided.

Kamara was worried about the political situation in Benin and pointed out that the report was not detailed enough about the political situation and with technology most MPs are aware of the situation in Benin.

Youssoufou Abdouramani Bida Nouhoume in presenting the county report of Benin told the House, legislative elections across the country  have been held and result announced by the constitutional court.

Mr. Youssoufou Abdouramani Bida Nouhoume in answering the questions from MPs on the floor noted that as a democrat he would not say there is a perfect situation in his country.

“Those calling for the rejection of my country report are not right, we have had worse situations in a country like Senegal but no one called for the rejection of that country’s report”.

Second Deputy Speaker, Aminata Kamara Toungara had tough time keeping order on the floor of the House as some MPs were vehemently calling for the rejection of the country report of Benin.

Mr. Mahama Ayariga from Ghana pointed out to his colleagues, they should be mindful of procedures and rules of the House; objections can be raised on the grounds that the report is not complete or inadequate.

“We have an opportunity to fill in the gaps by the delegation from Benin, they have answered questions and attempted to fill in the gaps, if we still have issues the proper procedure is to adopt a resolution and communicate to leadership of Benin our displeasure about happenings in that country”.

He further impress on his colleagues not to be emotional about the issue on the floor, and advice that issues should be channeled through the right procedure otherwise the House will lose its reputation as a Parliament.

Some MPs opposed the whole idea put forward by Mahama Ayariga and other MPs who contributed while others supported.

After thirty-five minutes of back and forth on the matter on the floor, Second Deputy Speaker, Aminata Kamara Toungara put the question and the report was adopted.

Some five lawmakers were unhappy with the decision on the floor were seeing waling out of the chamber before Togo and Burkina Faso could answer questions asked them.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com/Abuja

Senegal, Liberia and Sierra Leone present country report on day five

Three countries; Senegal, Liberia and Sierra Leone on Monday presented their country reports at  the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, First Ordinary Session this year at Abuja Nigeria.

First to present was Senegal that reported to the House that on the 24 of February this year the country held its eleventh Presidential election with five candidates vying for the position of President.

President Macky Sall was re-elected for a five year term with 58.26 percent in a first round election that recorded a high voter turn-out of 66 percent nearly 15 percent more than what was held in 2012.

As part of enhancing the powers of the National Assembly, 28 May of each year is celebrated as National Day of dialogue to bring together the nations dynamic forces and rub minds on the major issues facing the country.

Senegal has adopted pre-emptive strategies to tackle the new multiform and multidimensional threats to public security and to strengthen the capacity to intervene and manage crises.

Leader of the Liberian delegation, Edwin Melvin Snowe Junior reported that recent political development have the propensity to further shatter the countries already fragile peace if steps are not taken to arrest the situation.

A case in point is a planned demonstration slated for June 7 this year by a group named and styled “Council of Patriots” and the theme “Save the State”, as four major opposition political parties name Collaborating Political Party (CPP) have endorsed the protest.

Whiles President George M. Weah has suspended the Deputy information Minister , the legislature is yet to take actions on the two members of the legislature.

Deputy leader of the delegation, Sidi M. Tunis who presented the report for Sierra Leone reported to the House that, the political situation continues to improve after the 2018.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com/Abuja

LIBERIA: Signs of mass demonstration threatens country’s peace

From the country report presented by Liberia at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, on Monday May 13, 2019, top political parties are set to stage mass demonstration that may lead to increased insecurity in the country.

Former Speaker of Liberians Parliament and Leader of delegation to the sub-regional community Parliament, Edwin Melvin Snow Junior presented the report to the House, and noted; “Recent political events unfolding in the country have the propensity to further shatter Liberia already fragile peace if steps are not taken to arrest the situation”, he lamented.

He further explained that the case in point is a planned demonstration slated for June 7, 2019 by a group named “Council of Patriots” under the theme “SAVE THE STATE” and some members of the opposition, particularly four major opposition political parties named Collaborating Political Party, CPP.

Mr. Edwin Melvin also said in the report that the President of Liberia has called for dialogue and has invited the leaders of the Council of Patriots to a meeting on May 14, 2019, which is national unification day and is observed as a national day for a possible reconciliation and dialogue.

“President George Weah has suspended the Deputy Minister of Information of the country, and there are two members of the legislature yet to be called to order, due to allegations made by the US government expressing dissatisfaction in the divide especially congau-native  Politics”.

On the issue of corruption, the report stated that the country is working hard to tackle the issue of corruption especially the issue of major allegation of corruption in the country which involves a missing “sixteen billion  USD” (16b USD).  the President through the Ministry of Justice has set up a committee to investigate the issue with a mandate to further ascertain the fact of the missing dollars while a private US company Kroll has been hired to foster the investigation, the report stated.

He said, according to findings of both reports, it came out that the Central Bank of Liberia did not provide proper accounting for the three billion Liberian dollars leading to the arrest of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Wilson Weeks and his deputy Charles Sirleaf along with director of banking operations and former director of banking services.

As part of measures to win the fight against corruption, the President of Liberia has implemented the recommendation contained in the reports by commissioning the General Auditing to conduct forensic audit of the mop-up exercise and the President promised that anyone who is linked to any misapplication, be it members of his government or not will face the full weight of the law.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com/Abuja