May 9, 2019
Senator Foster Ogola, a representative of Nigeria in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament has said it is not quite healthy for the community Parliament to decide to boycott participation in Inter-Parliamentary Union meetings.

According to Senator Foster Ogola, for the Speaker of the Community Parliament, Mustapha Cisse Lo to say he will recommend to whoever will take over from him to boycott IPU meeting was unfortunate.

“As a leader you take a decision at a point base on your understanding of a situation at a moment, but that decision would not be binding on the new Speaker of the fifty legislature, he or she has the liberty to accept the decision”.

In an interview he noted that his advice is for ECOWAS Parliament to increase its presence on the international stage as a sub-regional legislature.

He further added that Speaker of the community legislative body has the right to rule the way he understands how ECOWAS Parliament was treated when it attended the IPU meeting at Doha Qatar.

Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mustapha Cisse Lo expressed reservation about the way and manner IPU did not extend courtesy to the delegation that went to Doha.

The next meeting of IPU would be in Belgrade in October this year and the issue came up for discussion on Wednesday at the opening of the first Ordinary Session in Abuja, Nigeria.

Senator Ogola again noted that, with the observer status of the sub-region community Parliament to the World Parliamentary Association (IPU), there is the need to participate and get to the level of being part of crafting the agenda of IPU.

“We need to have a voice, in that conference that is the way to establish our presence in that Parliament, not just to participate as observers, is just like ECOWAS Parliament we invite people to attend opening ceremony and they may not speak, because we have drawn up our programme already”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/