Hon Fatoumatta Njai,
June 24, 2022

A member of the Gambian delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Fatoumatta Njai, has advised the Parliament to work on its enhanced powers to make laws that would trickle down to the sub-regional Community citizens. According to her the ECOWAS MPs should be respected as the representatives of the people since they were elected across the member states, and further pointed out that that in some member states presidents are not elected by absolute majority.

As a president can be elected by ten percent of the voters which is not majority but in the case of MPs, they represent the whole nation and their voices should be heard and respected whether female, young or old, he stated. “That is lacking, look at what is happening in Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea Conakry they are not part of us at the 2022 Frist Ordinary Session, they are not coming back; they have been sanctioned, what are the implications of the sanctions, nothing is coming out of them”.

She proposed looking at the root causes of the problems why these things are happening. People are poor, and when they are poor, they are hungry and outraged, and the only time they can express their outrage is through “Coups, demonstrations, to protests. That is what we need to address; I do not think we are seeing any change in how, we go about our proceedings even as there is a lot of change within the region, with the coups here and there”.
Madam Njai, who is granting interview for the first time after her April 2022 victory noted that country reports have been presented at the ongoing Ordinary Session, and the root cause of problems in the sub-region has not been picked out. “We have seen the trajectory the Community is taking when it comes to democratize values it’s a down fall”.

Coups are coming back when the thinking was that the days of coup is over and done with within West Africa as the sub-region even boasted about it five years ago that there would never be a coup again.
After the 2016 elections in Gambian the former President of the Gambia, Yahya Jammeh refused to step down and ECOWAS stepped in and made sure the people’s will was respected. That was a great plus for ECOWAS, but seeing what has happened especially in Guinea, the early warnings were ignored in Guinean, it was written all over the walls.

Talk about, Mali and Burkina Faso, and a failed coup in Bissau, “we also hear of the Parliament being dissolved in Bissau which I think it was addressed during the session, but no decision taken as to what to do as law makers from our countries if we do not come here to ensure the Heads of States do the right thing then there is no need for us to come in here”, she emphasized.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com/Abuja-Nigeria