Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Address terrorism, climate change, Abbas tells ECOWAS


The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas on Monday, urged the Economic Community of West African States’ parliament to find solutions to the scourge of terrorism, banditry, piracy, human trafficking, human rights abuses, the impact of climate change and bad governance in the sub-region.

The Speaker made the call while delivering his goodwill message at the formal opening of the 2024 First Ordinary Session of the sixth legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.

Represented by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Benjamin Kalu, who was earlier formally inaugurated as a member of the parliament, Abbas harped on the need for commitment on the part of the member States of the sub-regional body, adding that the resolution of the body would only take effect when member states demonstrate eagerness to drive change.

A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Speaker, Levinus Nwabughiogu, quoted Abbas as saying, “While I feel greatly delighted to commend the ECOWAS Parliament for these invaluable contributions, we must also acknowledge that these multifaceted challenges are still confronting the sub-region in new and complex dimensions. Terrorism, banditry, piracy, human trafficking, human rights abuses, the impact of climate change and bad governance have remained serious impediments to the peace, security and economic development of our sub-region.

“These challenges have placed greater responsibility on the ECOWAS Parliament to continue to carry out its legislative functions with increased vigour, passion and commitment. It is my sincere hope that this session of the parliament will produce resolutions that will impact positively and go a long way in mitigating these challenges. However, it is important to stress that any resolutions reached will amount to nothing if there is no commitment and cooperation on the part of ECOWAS member states.

“Since its establishment by the ECOWAS Treaty in 1975, the ECOWAS Parliament has no doubt contributed immensely to strengthening representative democracy, promoting and defending human rights, democracy, the rule of law, transparency, accountability and good governance in the sub-region. It has also been actively involved in promoting peace, security and stability.”

He also called for unity and togetherness saying, “I appeal to our leaders to commit to implementing resolutions of the parliament for the greater good of our sub-region. The current challenges confronting our sub-region cannot be decisively addressed unless there is unity of purpose, partnership and cooperation in our decisions and actions.”

That said, the Speaker pledged the readiness of President Bola Tinubu-led government to defend and promote the tenets of democracy with inputs from the 10th National Assembly.

“Rt Honourable Speaker and members, let me assure you that Nigeria under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, is committed to defending and promoting democratic governance, the rule of law and human rights in our sub-region. On our part, the Nigerian parliament is committed to supporting the President through legislative measures that will provide a robust framework for Nigeria’s foreign policy, strengthen diplomatic relations, promote economic interests, enhance security cooperation, and promote regional and global peace.

“Let me also assure you that we shall continue to cooperate and partner with the ECOWAS Parliament in the areas of building legislative capacity, sharing of experiences and ensuring that resolutions passed are implemented.

“In doing this, we shall take advantage of Nigeria’s strong representation in the ECOWAS Parliament to push for debates and resolutions that will be of immense political, economic and social benefits to our sub-region,” he added.


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