The Economic Community of West African States Parliamentarians has converged in Nigeria’s capital to address the rising cost of food and shortages, climate and security challenges, as well as energy and a hike in poverty ratio across member states.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the 1st Ordinary Session of the Parliament for the year 2022, the Speaker of the parliament Hon. Sidie Tunis said the ongoing Russian, and Ukraine crises and the recent Covid-19 pandemic have brought the hike in global food insecurity while restraining governments’  efforts to acquire resources that could help in tackling citizens’ challenges to good living conditions across the continent.

The gathering of the 5th Legislature of the Economic Community of West African States Parliamentarians is in fulfillment of the supplementary Act which gives an opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues of the community and render opinions on a number of referrals presented to the parliament.

however, these sacred duties have constituted debate on the floor of the fifth parliament over the years aimed at meeting the needs and aspirations of the people for good governance and accountability.

While speaking Tunis calls for collaboration across the board to ensure lasting solutions to poverty that has heightened insecurity so as to guarantee peace and stability in the sub-region.

The onus is, therefore, upon us to support policies that address these day-to-day issues. It has become evident that our people are much more concerned with the decisions we make and the ripple effects they have on them.

Each time I travel across the region, I am confronted with the hard question: What is ECOWAS doing about food shortages?

What is  ECOWAS doing about the rising prices of food and energy? What is  ECOWAS doing about poverty eradication? among others.

These are the questions we must address. Not only with policy formulations and conferences, but with actionable solutions that are indisputable.

“As we do our work over the next few days, I pray we place much more emphasis on practical results. We cannot afford to fail our people.”

The speaker while condemning the Ondo massacre and Kaduna train attack by bandits in Nigeria calls for a minute of silence in honor of the departed adding that all hands must be on deck to tackle the ugly trend of attacks on innocent citizens in the region even as he charged member states to boost their commitment in reducing climate change vulnerability in West Africa.

“On a sad note, terrorism, kidnapping, and banditry continue to cause major setbacks for security in the region. In Burkina Faso, Mali, and the Federal Republic of  Nigeria the situation has worsened.

We condemn the recent attack on the Kaduna international Airport and the Abuja-Kaduna train that led to the loss of innocent lives and injury to many others;

The gruesome attack at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo  State led to the killing of many, and many others unfortunate deaths across the region.

We thank the Nigerian  government for its continued efforts in fighting the perpetrators of evil and call for increased vigilance in areas that are susceptible to threats.”

Also, the President of the ECOWAS Commission Jean-Claude Kassi-Brou represented by the Vice President, ECOWAS Commission Finda Koroma laments that despite significant progress in tackling security challenges countries are still repelling banditry, thus condemning the incessant attack on the Owo, Ondo state Nigeria, that led to the cold blood of many worshippers in the country.

“Despite all the progress our Member States are making in the running of their countries, our region continues to face numerous challenges in the areas of security, humanitarian, political and economic affairs.

We, therefore, welcome the Accra Initiative as well as other efforts by our member states to fight the menace.”

 Meanwhile, Speaker of the Nigeria House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila advocated for the unity of the parliamentarians so as to achieve the desired results.

“It is important for the Parliament to set the pace for better understanding of the role of the legislature in governance.

“It is time to start thinking outside the box to understand the role of parliament in democracy.”

The session will run through in the month of  June 9 to July 2, 2022, and is targeted at addressing salient issues that are of importance for sub-regional integration.

 

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