June 3, 2019

Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo has blocked the payment of per diem to his first Deputy Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff for absenteeism.

He made this known on Friday June 1, 2019, before delivering his closing speech for the end of the First Ordinary Session of the fourth legislature for this year, held from May 8 to June 3.

Mr. Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff is the former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives in Nigeria and currently the first Deputy Speaker of the community Parliament.

According to Speaker Moustapha Cisse Lo he is being forthright, as the first Deputy Speaker Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff is being paid fully meanwhile he is never here at the plenary in Abuja.

“It is unacceptable, he is neither here for bureau conference but being given full payment and I have blocked his payment for this reason, if payment must be done must be to all”.

He directed the acting chief protocol officer, Ezekiel Fwangder to deliver a message to him, “go and do your work, I am the Speaker of this Parliament, those of you from Anglophone countries can you hear me? This remark came when the interpreter translating from French to English could not be heard.

When Mahama Ayariga, a Ghanaian representative raise his hands to make an intervention, the Speaker said he was not going to allow anyone to make any intervention.

“Those who do not want to listen to me are free to walk out; I am going to deliver a message, can I continue? I am not here to give the floor to anybody, I lost my temper this morning, it was as if I was out of myself”.

Speaker Mustapha Cisse Lo further pointed out that he gave authorization as his role demands for the attendance of each day to be looked into. “Second Deputy Speaker Aminata Kamara Toungara from Cote d’lvoire was absent, she did not get all her payment and those who never came had their full payment”.

“I ask to see the documents and I saw how serious it was and this things have been going on for ever and we should bring a stop to it. That is the only case if you must be paid everybody should be paid for the session it is not my money”, he stated.

“You pay the first Deputy Speaker money that belong to the community, next time I would stay at home so that you manage the session so that I come and take my per dime and get out of here, I have a lot of things doing here at an opportunity cost, I am losing billions, yet I come here and somebody does not come here and he is being paid”.

Again it is unacceptable, and do you think it is right if you “protest” I would write personally to President Buhari, this is unacceptable and I need to make this point distinguished Members of Parliament”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com/Abuja