Speaker Tunis
May 8, 2023

Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Rt. Hon Dr. Sidie Mohammed Tunis is optimistic the direct election of lawmakers to the legislative body is achievable and proud of the awareness created around the subject matter.

He expressed this sentiment in his opening remarks at the 2023 first Ordinary Session in Abuja Nigeria saying, “I strongly believe that sooner rather than later, when the time is right for the first vote to be cast for ECOWAS Members of Parliament, this legislature will be remembered for its invaluable role played in getting it achieved”.

According to him they are aware that since the inauguration of the first legislature, Parliament has not achieved its goal of being a full-fledged Legislative body. Nevertheless, this august body can be very proud of its achievements thus far.

“We have made sufficient advocacy for the election of Members by direct universal suffrage, which we believe is vital towards giving this Body more enhanced power and build our capacity to adequately exert our influence as a truly legislative body”.

Dr. Tunis further noted that on the regional scene, they remain very concerned over the pace at which the transitional processes are unfolding in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso and are equally worried about the proliferation of terrorist activities in the Sahel, which has resulted into the killings of innocent lives.

Hon Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah

It is expected that the President of the ECOWAS Commission, during the presentation of his report, would kindly provide detailed explanations on these issues to inform Parliament’s position. Additionally, they are closely following events in Sierra Leone and Liberia, as they prepare to hold Presidential and Legislative elections in June and October respectively.

He thanked the government of Sierra Leone for its commitment to upholding the principles of democratic elections and commend all stakeholders for being committed to the democratic process.

In Liberia he commends ECOWAS and the United Nations, under whose auspices the Farmington Declaration was signed, committing all Political Parties to a violence-free election. They shall continue to engage with both countries within the framework of ensuring that both elections are peaceful, free, fair and transparent.

The Legislative elections are also expected to be held in Guinea Bissau in June of this year, following months of dissolution of Parliamentary activities and applaud the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the peaceful conduct of the presidential, federal legislative, governorship and state legislative elections.

He congratulate President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his victory at the polls and expressed best wishes on behalf of the membership of the ECOWAS Parliament for his success as he prepares to take up the responsibilities and challenges of his office.

“I also extol the statesmanship of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari for sticking to his term limit and facilitating a smooth transition to his successor. More so, I thank the aggrieved parties for seeking redress in the court of law. Such is the democracy we crave for, and I am grateful that Nigeria, our biggest democracy, is leading by example”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com