June 13, 2022

As the Community Parliament prepares to receive country reports from twelve Members States at the plenary for discussion this week, a member of the Liberian delegation, Jonathan L. Kaipay is advocating for sector experts from the ECOWAS Commission to be part of the process.

According to him there is the need for MPs to have time to debate and understand the issues concerning the sub-region where technical experts at the commission would give them their opinion.

“Plenary is a higher decision making body, Commissioner for Finance, Security should be here in the plenary when the reports are being presented. For example, when Liberia presents its report, a technical person can analyze the report, give us a bigger picture, and let us talk about it. Same with agriculture, health and the others the reports can be examined by more professional experts”.

He further added that there should be more time allocated to issues discussed at the plenary; if they have to hold people accountable. Discussion on Guinea and Mali should have a day or two allotted to it, there is nothing wrong with that, he stated.

“We would get to the point in the future where, we have an elected body that is not accountable to anybody, you are not afraid when you are going back home if your parliament is going to change you or not because you are not from the ruling party”, he lamented.

And as the Community Parliament moves towards its independence, the plenary is yet to hear from the Commission on what have been achieved so far at the start of 2022. “But I do not think we have made much progress for us to make headway”.

Also it is for the Authority of Heads of states to develop a strong political will if they say they  are putting sanction on Guinea, they need to be proactive,  “how did Guinean  get to where it is today we were in this same chamber there were reports from Guinea that the democracy there was challenged what did we do for example it is what it is,  what do we do now to be able to change democracy?”.

Senator, Jonathan L. Kaipay noted in an interview that he visited Guinea in recent times, the people there are living relatively a peaceful life, there was no harassment, he drove there spent some nights and came back.

Democracy, he said should be seen to be upholding co-existence, reconciliation; there should be tolerance.

Again, “we need full legislative powers,  if we have it then we need to exercise it and people need to be accountable to this parliament. We talk about country report, they are made, even before the report there are indicators people who visit different countries you have the Commission which is the Executive arm of government of the regional body which does the Executive work, you have people who are responsible for security, Agriculture, the different sectors; how do we demand that these people give realistic reports?”.

He again pointed out that the Commissioner on Agriculture was at the plenary to talk about his sector on the floor, “how can an MP make a contribution for just two minutes?” Parliament, needs to hold people accountable and they need to set time lines and for people to report back in actual terms.

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