Let’s Unite Against Divisive Forces – Tinubu Urges ECOWAS Nations 

President Bola Tinubu has called on ECOWAS member states to come together, strengthen ties, and reject forces bent on causing division within the community.

The President stated this at the inauguration of the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament on Thursday in Abuja.

Tinubu, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government stated this in a statement by his spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, saying regional solidarity is imperative to strengthen the bloc’s resilience and effectiveness at this critical juncture.

He emphasised that member states cannot afford to remain passive spectators while the community faces the threat of disintegration.

“We stand united against such forces and are committed to ensuring that our unity remains unshaken. We must ensure that cooperation amongst us is strengthened, with a view to building a sense of common destiny and purpose. No one can do this for us. We must come together.

“To this extent, reinforcing the legitimacy of the decisions taken by the Authority of Heads of State is key in sending a message that ECOWAS is one indivisible body. It is also very important that the executives, on the other hand, show similar confidence in the Parliament, which would indeed deepen democracy in our region.

“Meanwhile, in the midst of ongoing challenges, our partnership can be a driving force for stability, growth, and prosperity in our region,” the President said.

Tinubu reaffirmed Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to the aspirations of the community and, by extension, the fundamental objectives upon which the ECOWAS Parliament was established.

Affirming the important role of the ECOWAS Parliament in the bloc’s journey towards a future of peace and prosperity for all, President Tinubu said success cannot be achieved without the loyal contribution and hard work of the community’s legislative agency.

“Furthermore, to realise the ECOWAS ‘Vision 2050’, we require greater involvement of the people in the decision-making processes of the community.

“That can only be achieved through their duly-elected representatives who, being members of their national parliaments, are seconded to the community parliament. We are here, collectively, to serve all the good and great people of West Africa.

“I am aware that the ECOWAS Parliament is seeking enhanced powers, primarily through the election of its members by direct universal suffrage.

“This will increase the role parliamentarians must play and the responsibilities that they will assume in advancing our regional development objectives, particularly in harmonizing laws and regulations across the member states.

“Indeed, the practice of directly electing public officials aligns with the democratic principles that Nigeria upholds, as it enhances the legitimacy of our democratic institutions.

“This principle is also in line with the spirit of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. As a one-time legislator myself, I look forward to reviewing a proposal regarding this matter, and we stand ready to support direct elections into the ECOWAS Parliament.

“We believe this would ensure that citizens have a direct say in their representation – in addition to the legitimacy and credibility such a process will confer,” the President said.

Tinubu also stated that Nigeria, as the host of the community’s institution, will continue to support the parliament to achieve its objectives.

“I am aware of the plan to have all ECOWAS institutions in one complex and of the good progress that has been made.

Nigeria is also working to meet its responsibilities in constructing the ECOWAS Parliament’s Headquarters in Abuja within the same complex.

“I would like to emphasize that, as you conduct the business of the 6th Legislature, it is my hope that your discussions will provide you the opportunity to address the prime concerns of the region and come up with resolutions that will lead to the attainment of peace and the advancement of all.

“You can stand assured that Nigeria is always ready to support the ECOWAS Parliament, in whatever endeavours you are engaged, to move the ECOWAS mission forward,” the President stated.

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