Constitutional Order must be fully restored in Sub-region- ECOWAS Speaker

Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Tunis, has stressed that constitutional order must be restored in Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso, pledging the commitments and interventions of the Parliament to the cause.

Tunis said this at the opening of the Parliament’s First Extraordinary Session of the year holding in Monrovia, Liberia.

The Communications division of the Parliament made this known in its update of the Extraordinary Session.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the session seeks to discuss on the political and security situation of Members States with a bid to proffering solutions.

Tunis said that the situation in the Republic of Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso exacerbated by the failed coup in Republic of Guinea Bissau are threatening issues that requires urgent attention.

He listed constitutional abuse, deficit in good governance principles, the lack of transparency in the electioneering processes, corruption as well as civil unrest resulting from unplanned change in constitution as major causes of the unfortunate situation.

“Article 27/2c of the Supplementary Act Relating to the Enhancement of the Powers of the ECOWAS Parliament, provides that the Parliament should endeavour to hold its Extraordinary Sessions in the respective Member States.

“Premised upon that provision, we have gathered as a Committee of the whole to deliberate on one agenda, perhaps the most important regional agenda at the moment.

“That being the Political and Security situation in the ECOWAS Region; Retrogression of Democracy and the Resurgence of unconstitutional Change of Government, with key emphasis on Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso.

“We take due cognisance of the fact that the ECOWAS Parliament, being the representative body of the ECOWAS Region, must fully participate in the development of the region.

“Through the promotion of peace and security, human rights and the development of a democratic culture.

“In order to perform these inviolable responsibilities, we must take ownership of the situation we are confronted with and exhibit leadership to the fullest,” Tunis said.

Tunis, however, noted that the transitional plans in the affected countries seemed vague and the sanctions biting hard on citizens.

“We remain mindful of the prevailing political situation in the Republics of Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso; the three Member States where democracy has been disrupted.

“Hence the decision by the Authority of Heads of state and Government to suspend them.

“I wish to reiterate that it is a matter of concern that the transitional plans in those countries seem expansive and vague.

“Making it difficult to decisive and timely steps to reverse them as these sanctions also have negative consequences’ on the civilians,” the speaker stated.

Tunis decried deteriorating security and violence aggravating an already difficult humanitarian situation in the sub region especially amid the COVID-19 Pandemic and the climate change.

He expressed concern that the deadly attacks in the western Tahoua region of Niger, Boko Haram attacks and worsening violence being perpetrated by criminal gangs in North west Nigeria which he said has claimed the lives of 2,000 innocent civilians in the region.‘

“It is very sad and worrisome that if nothing is done to reverse this ugly trend more lives would be lost and the sufferings of innocent civilians will continue,” he said.

He, therefore, called for an urgent scaled up operation in joint border patrol and unmatched show of solidarity that would disrupt trafficking network that supply terrorist groups across west Africa and the Sahel.

President of the Republic of Liberia, George Weah commended the leadership of the ECOWAS Parliament for always being at the forefront of seeking ways to promote democracy and restore peace to the sub region.

Weah said that the restoration of constitutional order in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso is a task that must be done as soon as possible.

“Liberia has zero tolerance for any form of unconstitutional takeover of power.

“And that is why we are prepared to support every move that will enhance the quick return of power to these countries through constitutional means.

“I commend the ECOWAS Parliament for its efforts and interventions in promoting democracy and restoring peace in the sub-region,” Weah said. (NAN


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