By Abdulateef Bamgbose
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has called on the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament to tackle all forms of insecurity arising from acts of terrorism, ethnic conflicts and trans-border crime within the subregion.
Lawan, in an address delivered on Monday at the 2023 First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament, in Abuja, said job creation and the stimulation of multipliers needed for economic growth cannot be realised in view of the problems created by insecurity.
“The objectives of the ECOWAS parliament envisage a multileveled approach to development, which is why we consider matters of politics, economics, culture and social cohesion in our deliberations.
“As I have always said, our ability to achieve these is a function of how well we reinforce our purpose, which is why the concern for ECOWAS protocol on the Free Movement of Persons and Goods will remain important.
“Matters of insecurity and conflicts require continuous attention, just as the liberty to move between member nations is helpful to economic growth, apart from growing attendant benefits like job creation, the stimulation of economic multipliers and our collective better well-being.
“We cannot realise this with insecurity and ethno religious scuffles, which is why we are charged to be examining all angles to it so as to make the rightful interventions. This is surely possible given our combined zeal”, he said.
The Senate President noted that the 2023 First Ordinary Session presented an opportunity for parliamentarians across the West African sub-region to collaborate on economic integration and the deepening of democracy.
He also charged the ECOWAS Parliament to ensure accountability in governance among member states, the implementation of trade agreements and protocols, the need to stem irregular migration, as well as sustain the fight against diseases.
“This First Ordinary Session for the year 2023 will, as usual, assists us in making a plan for the time immediately ahead, especially concerning areas like terrorism, extremism, and the implementation of trade agreements and protocols.
“The areas of irregular migration, the fight against diseases, drought, and the quest to entrench accountability in our governance systems are also integral. I am confident we are prepared to make our inputs for lasting solutions to the challenges”, Lawan added.