Speaker Abbas Tasks ECOWAS on Solution to Terrorism, Human Trafficking, Climate Change



The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, has urged the parliament of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to find solutions to the menace of terrorism, banditry, piracy, human trafficking, human rights abuses, the impact of climate change and bad governance in the sub-region.

He 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 on Monday.

Represented by his deputy, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu who was earlier formally inaugurated as a member of the parliament, Speaker Abbas also called for increased passion and commitment on the part of the member States of the sub-regional body, emphasizing that the resolutions of the parliament can only fly when stronger dedication is demonstrated.

He said: “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.

“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.

“Let me therefore take this auspicious occasion to 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.”

Speaker Abbas also assured of Nigeria’s commitment under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to defend and promote the tenets of democracy with inputs by the National Assembly of the country.

“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, strengthening of diplomatic relations, promoting economic interests, enhancing security cooperation, and promoting 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”, Speaker Abbas said.

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