December 5, 2022

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament is to issue a statement on the attack of a Senegal female lawmaker Hon Amy Ndiaye by a male colleague in their National Assembly – a video that has gone viral and attracted condemnation of this act.

A member of the Senegalese delegation to the Community Parliament, Abdoulaye Vilane raised this issue at the plenary on Saturday, December 3, 2022 when Liberia and Sierra Leone were scheduled to present their country report to the plenary.

The third deputy Speaker of the Community Parliament Memounatou Ibrahima, fourth deputy Speaker Adja Satu Camara Pinto Hon. Abdoulaye Vilane and the Parliament Secretariat are to issue a statement in the coming days.

On point of order his colleague from Togo drew Mr. Speaker’s attention that the House has an agenda it has adopted for the day, they should and asked that they stick to the agenda which Speaker Dr. Sidie M. Tunis agreed with.

The Speaker on the subject matter pointed out that, respect for women anywhere is very important and whatever the circumstance violence against women should not be allowed, and recounted that there has been violence before in the Sierra Leone Parliament and other parliaments within the sub-region and the world at large.

And as a Speaker the attack of the Senegalese female MP, what he saw on the video circulating is something the community parliament will look at, at a later time, they will look at other videos from other parliament irrespective of where the incident happened in this particular case all of them are concerned because of what they saw.

“A man coming across whether the person is an MP coming across and actually beating up a woman, I am sure we will look at it, but like what the MP from Togo said there is an agenda that has been adopted and any other thing relating to the matter will come later on”.

The Rt. Hon speaker urged a Committee of the Community Parliament, Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to take a critical look at the kind of things happening now.

MPs at the plenary

If the need be a visit be made to Senegal either in January or February of next year not because of the female MP attacked in question, but to look at the entire political situation considering the outcome of their Legislative Assembly election.

There are a lot of changes that has taken place in Senegal, that probably warrant the intervention of that committee and from what I hear, it’s the opposition MP that beat up the government MP normally it’s the other way round but this time it’s the opposition MP and its very serious even if your visit is for a week, he stated.

Speaker Tunis backed the point raised by Abdoulaye Vilane, stating that if there were security forces around when the female MP was in danger all that was needed was to call the security to come in.

“If my Speaker in Sierra Leone’s life is in danger we cannot handle, the best you can do is to call in the state security. I am the Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, I am not justifying police entering our parliament, I am only saying you need a police to protect the Hon Speaker and Hon members if there was a police officer around, this will not have happened in Senegal”.

“Let say in the case of Sierra Leone, if the police were not around, “our Speaker would have been in the hospital by now”, he added.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/