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Direct Elections Into ECOWAS Parliament Endorsed by Tinubu

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Supporting a proposal for direct elections of members into the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) parliament, President Bola Tinubu emphasized the significance of giving citizens of member states a voice in selecting their representatives.

Expressing his anticipation to review the proposal, Tinubu conveyed his backing for the direct elections into the ECOWAS parliament during the swearing-in ceremony of 97 members to the 6th ECOWAS parliament at the Abuja International Conference Centre.

His remarks were made in light of the current composition of the ECOWAS parliament, consisting of lawmakers from the existing 15 member states.

President Tinubu asserted, “The practice of directly electing public officers is in alignment with democratic principles, which Nigeria strongly upholds.

“This principle also resonates with the spirit of the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance.

“We believe that this approach will ensure that citizens have a direct influence on their representation, enhancing its legitimacy and credibility.”

Assuring the members of the 6th ECOWAS Parliament of Nigeria’s continued support as the host nation of the community, Tinubu stated, “We will continue to assist you in achieving your objectives.”

The ECOWAS parliament, also referred to as the Community parliament, was established in accordance with Articles 6 and 13 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993.

Initially signed in Abuja on August 6, 1994, the protocol setting up the parliament outlined its structure, composition, competencies, and related matters.

The parliament comprises a total of 115 seats, with each member state having a minimum of five reserved seats, and the remaining 40 seats distributed based on population.

However, the recent swearing-in ceremony included only 97 members, representing different member states.

This includes 35 members from Nigeria, and five from each of Benin Republic, Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Additional members consist of eight from Ghana, seven from Cote d’Ivoire, and six from Senegal and Guinea.

Notably, Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso do not have representatives in the 6th parliament as these states have expressed intentions to withdraw from the bloc.

Referring to the concerns raised by ECOWAS Commission President, Dr. Omar Touray, President Tinubu appealed to the trio to reconsider for the possible repercussions on their citizens and the region.

More details to follow…

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