April 12, 2021

Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe Junior has revived the debate on the need for the Federal Republic of Nigeria to open its closed land border, as Nigeria defended its position due to smuggling of rice and ammunition to its country.

According to him, the Community Parliament should not hesitate to bring back debate in addressing this critical issue in the fifth Legislature, as this same issue came up strongly in the fourth Legislature, before COVID-19 set in for countries to close their land borders to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

 “You know for over a year now the border between Nigeria and the Benin Republic has been closed, Nigeria and Niger, I will be traveling with President Weah to Niger to attend the inauguration of the new President of Niger, the Vice President of Nigeria will be at that program, the land border is closed but he can fly in there. We need to talk about it, the border between Sierra Leone and Guinea has been  closed  Liberia and Sierra Leone; the Liberian side was officially open,  the Sierra Leone side is still closed due to COVID-19, but now we are relaxing restrictions on COVID-19”.

 In an interview, leader of the Liberian delegation to the Community Parliament argued that, the sub-region cannot be talking about regional integration and free movement of people and yet its land borders are being closed.

And added that the Community Parliament cannot run away from debating this issue, adding, there is not a successful Parliament without debate. “We should make a decision on this and it should be sent to the Authority of Heads of States and Government”.

He explained that consensus building and solidarity has been hindering debate in the Community Parliament, adding that, sometimes  not that the presiding officer is afraid of debates but he tries to reach a consensus and sometimes in reaching consensus you deviate from the debate,  even with consensus you must first debate the issues and later reach a consensus.