Speaking at a press briefing at the extraordinary session of the Ecowas parliament in Abuja, Nigeria, Ekeweremadu said the reformations at the Ecowas parliament would bring about more representative and accountable governance at the regional level as reflected in the Community Vision of a transition from Ecowas of states to Ecowas of peoples.
He added: “This new parliament will also help to forge greater ties with Ecowas citizens in order to sustain inspiration and legitimacy for its actions.”
He commended his colleagues in the third legislature for their hard work and contribution towards the enhancement of the Ecowas parliament while thanking Authority of Heads of State, the Council of Ministers, the president of the Ecowas commission and all those who played key roles in the realisation of this dream.
Speaker Ekeweremadu pointed out the challenges and inadequacies of the advisory mandate of the Ecowas parliament in the discharge of its functions and the absence of meaningful participation in community decision-making as some of the justifications for the enhancement of the powers of the parliament.
After a week-long deliberation, the Abuja extraordinary session recommended that the speaker embark on a tour of member states, starting with the chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government, Ghanaian President John Mahama and his colleague presidents in ensuring that the Supplementary Act document is signed and ready for implementation by the forth legislature.
The meeting also recommended that the speaker preserve the role of the present parliament in the historic transition in line with Article 4
(1) of the Supplementary Protocol and propose an extension of the tenure of the third legislature in order to bring about a smooth transition.
Parliamentarians also recommended the constitution of Ad Hoc Committees on the following transition subjects; a common electoral code, draft rules of procedure, the Ombudsman, and other transitional matters including secretariat. After the signing of the Supplementary Act by Ecowas heads of state, Ecowas parliamentarians will now be elected through “electoral college” by national parliaments in member countries.
Under this new dispensation, members elected to the Ecowas parliament will not be a member of their national parliaments. The Gambia was represented at the session Mr Abdoulie Suku Singhateh, Mrs Haddy Nyang Jagne, Mr Lamin Jadama, Mr Lamin K Jammeh and Ebrima Jammeh.]]>