Regional Speaker Urges Colleagues To Uphold Oath As ECOWAS Parliament Climaxes Extraordinary Session

A cross-section of ECOWAS Parliamentarians in session
A cross-section of ECOWAS Parliamentarians in session

(Abuja, February, 16, 2017:) The Speaker of the Fourth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament, Moustapha Cisse Lo, has urged his colleagues to uphold the oath they took to serve the over 300 million people in the ECOWAS region.

A release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says the Speaker made the appeal on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 during the closing session of the regional parliament’s First Extraordinary Session for the year in Abuja.

The release quotes Speaker Cisse Lo, also Second Deputy Speaker of Senegal’s Parliament, as follows: “Aware of our responsibilities, we parliamentarians should, every time and everywhere, be on top of all the expectations and aspirations of the people we are honoured to represent in Parliament. The oath to be sworn by the new parliamentarians at this extraordinary session has revealed the need for us parliamentarians to better explain and popularize our community texts to enable them to be respected and applied by all our Member States.”

Mr. Cisse Lo had earlier, during the opening session of the five-day working session over the weekend, informed his colleagues through a memo that “quite a good number of the members of the ECOWAS Parliament have not been demonstrating the expected measure of diligence through regular attendance of parliamentary session, as well as other important meetings and or missions.”

“Even more regrettably, this kind of conduct amounts to a betrayal of the confidence reposed on us by the West African populace who are anxiously looking up to us to run around their chequered fortunes”, the Speaker’s memo continued.

Cisse Lo was elected a year ago as Speaker also announced the holding of a parliamentary seminar for members of the regional body, which will hold shortly.

Prior to the Speaker’s closing speech, the regional body considered and adopted a number of draft reports, including those of the Standing, Joint and Ad hoc Committees. The Parliament also adopted the Program of Activities of the Parliament for the year 2017 and also a report by the Committee on Legal and Judicial Affairs on the implementation of the Supplementary Act relating to the enhancement of the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament.

According to the Speaker, the Bureau is also proposing a new methodology for the presentation of country reports taking due account of the yearly context within which the Parliament’s activities are conducted.

The Speaker then expressed gratitude to all standing committees “which worked in such a very short period of time.”

All five of Liberia’s representatives to the Parliament are actively serving on various committees.

Representative Jefferson S. Kanmoh of Sinoe County, who is the 4th Deputy Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament along with the 1st , 2nd, and 3rd Deputy Speakers, constitute the Bureau of ECOWAS Parliament. The Bureau is the governing Organ of the Parliament.  He is also a member of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology.

Senator George M. Weah of Montserrado County who is the Head of the Liberian Delegation of Parliamentarians to Parliament is a member of the Standing Committee on Labour, Employment, Youth, Sport and Culture.

Representative Edwin M. Snowe Jr. of Montserrado County is the Vice Chair of the Committee on Administration, Finance, Budget Control and Audits.

Representative Haja F. Siryon of Bomi County is the 2nd Rapporteur of the Committee on Gender, Women Empowerment and Social Protection.

And, Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County is a member of the Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

The ECOWAS Parliament sits in session three times a year with two ordinary sessions in May and September. There may however be an extraordinary session at any time in the course of the year to discuss an urgent, specific agenda.

All 115 members of the Parliament are elected from amongst Members of the various National Assemblies or Legislatures of Member States for a period of four years.

The regional body is expected to reconvene for its Ordinary Session in Abuja from the 8th to the 10th of May, 2017, the release concludes.

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About Cholo Brooks 16091 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.