President Tinubu Inaugurates 6th ECOWAS Parliament, Champions Direct Election Proposal

By Joke Kujenya

NIGERIA’s President and Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Bola Tinubu, took a significant stride on Thursday, as he officially inaugurated the 6th Legislature of, Parliament in Abuja, marking a pivotal moment for regional governance.

The ECOWAS Parliament, comprising 115 members drawn from the 15-member States, ECOWAS Parliament holds vital strategic importance within the West African region, with Nigeria commanding the largest representation.

Out of the total membership, Nigeria has been allocated 35 slots, comprising 17 Senators and 18 Honourable members, underlining her influential role in regional governance.

During the inauguration ceremony, President Tinubu announced the induction of Nigerian delegates into the 6th ECOWAS parliament.

The list includes prominent names such as Hon. Barau Jibrin, Hon Mohammed Ali Ndume, Hon Osita Ngwu and many others, totaling 35 distinguished representatives.

With Nigeria’s significant presence in the ECOWAS Parliament, the President notes that the country is ready and poised to play a pivotal role in shaping regional policies and initiatives aimed at fostering integration, economic development, and political stability across West Africa.

In a groundbreaking move, President Tinubu voiced support for the proposal advocating for the direct election of ECOWAS Parliament members asserting that such a move would empower citizens of member states by allowing them a direct say in their representation, aligning with democratic principles and the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance.

Tinubu’s endorsement came as 97 members were sworn into the 6th ECOWAS Parliament, representing various member states. The Parliament, established under Articles 5 and 13 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993, underscores the commitment to regional cooperation and integration.

While Nigeria and several other member states were adequately represented, Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso were absent, signaling their intent to exit the bloc.

However, President Tinubu appealed to these states to reconsider, stressing the potential ramifications for their citizens and the wider region.

Nigeria’s President further assured the newly sworn-in members of his unwavering support, reaffirming the country’s commitment as the host nation of the ECOWAS community, asserting that the inauguration marked a milestone in regional governance with his endorsement of direct elections signaling a potential paradigm shift towards enhanced democratic representation within the ECOWAS Parliament.

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