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Burkina Faso: Ekweremadu Hails ECOWAS Leaders for Restoring Democratic Order

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja  

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has commended the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government for ensuring the reinstatement of the interim President of Burkina Faso, Michel Kafando who was recently sacked in a military coup in the West African country.

Ekweremadu spoke when he received a delegation of the Pan African Parliament, which was on a Study Visit to the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Thursday.

The Speaker said that by unanimously rejecting the coup d’état in Burkina Faso, the ECOWAS leaders had made yet another strong statement to the effect that military coups and all forms of unconstitutional takeover of political power were absolutely unacceptable to the peoples of the sub-region.

He said: “Capture of power by undemocratic means is against the letters and spirit of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance as well as the provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.   Our military officers in every part of the sub-region must understand this.

“I am glad to hear that the leader of the military coups admitted to reporters that it had been ‘the biggest mistake’. But we honestly do not want such costly mistakes in any part of Africa again.  Democracy has come to stay here and any attempt to scuttle it will always meet stiff and uncompromising resistance from the peoples of the Community”

He however charged leaders in the sub-region to promote good governance and shun policies and actions that serve as fertile grounds for political instability in their respective countries.

“Political freedom is important to democracy. We believe politicians can always work together in our various countries irrespective their political leanings. And to be honest, our people care less about political parties. They rather care for about better life and development”.

Senator Ekweremadu who also doubles as the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate extolled the great strides by the ECOWAS in regional integration.

He added: “I am proud of what ECOWAS has achieved so far. Aside the European Union, I believe we are one of the most successful regional groupings in the world. We have done well in regional integration; we have done well in the area of common external tariffs and free movement. We are dealing with the issues of settlement and trade partnership agreement with Europe.

“Sadly, however, the ECOWAS Parliament has not grown in the same proportion as ECOWAS. Efforts to enhance its powers are yet to scale through for obvious reasons. This is not good for democratic regional governance”.

In her remarks, the leader of the delegation and Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Trade, Customs, and Immigration Matters at the Pan African Parliament, Hon. Sarah Sayifwanda of Zambia, regretted the low volume of trade among African countries compared to the volume of trade between individual African nations and Europe, Asia, among others.

Hon. Sayifwanda particularly called for policies to discourage the discrimination against African women engaged in trans-border trading in Africa and also implored the Nigerian National Assembly to include women in subsequent Nigeria National Delegation to the Pan African Parliament.


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