115-Member ECOWAS Parliament Convene on Xenophobic Violence, Others

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ECOWAS Parliament Speaker Moustapha Cisse Lo at RIA.

Christopher Tchao, chairman on Legal Affairs of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, has said that the ECOWAS Parliament comprising 115 members will be convening in Liberia to discuss, among other things, the xenophobic violence that occurred in South Africa during a series of deadly attacks on foreign nationals, many of them Nigerians.

The violent activities, which also affected Nigerian-owned businesses and properties, will be among some of the items members of the ECOWAS Parliament will discuss in the Second Ordinary Session in Liberia.

The Second Extraordinary Session of the 4th Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament is expected to be held in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, from Monday  through Sunday, September 16 – 22, 2019.

Tchao, a lawmaker from Togo, told journalists on Monday at the Roberts International Airport (RIA), shortly after he arrived in the country, that apart from the xenophobic attack, another issue that is affecting the region is the lack of freedom of movement among the member states, which remains a concern.

Chairman on Legal Affairs of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Christopher Tchao

The Head of Liberian Delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament Bomi County District #1 Representative Edwin Snowe, said at the end of the Second Ordinary Session that the Parliament is expected to make a ‘statement’ through a resolution on the Xenophobic Violence, which followed a complaint from 35 Nigerian MPs.

Parliament Speaker Moustapha Cisse Lo and 114 MPs or Parliament Members (members of the House of Representatives and Senate) from 14 West African countries, including John Azumah, Secretary General of the ECOWAS Parliament and 300 technical, support staffs experts and resource personnel, had begun arriving in the country on Sunday, September 8, while the Speaker and other members came; the remaining MPs are expected in the country on Tuesday.

Madam Reine Sakanide, ECOWAS Gender chairman, said it is her wish for every West African country to have a 30% female Parliamentarian, to include ECOWAS.

The Burkina Faso lawmaker made the statement shortly after she arrived at the RIA.

Frederick Ansah, a Ghanaian, and the ECOWAS Chairman on Information and Communication Halidou Nasriroa, in separate interviews, expressed their liking to come to Liberia in order to have a seminar and special session.

Madam Martina Moreina Monie, ECOWAS Education Chairman, said free primary education remains a challenge in West Africa. She told journalists that if West African countries provide primary education to its young citizens, it will help develop the region.

ECOWAS Parliament Chairman on Information and Communication, Mr. Halidou Nasriroa

According to the itinerary, the Parliament Speaker and four of his deputies will have a Bureau Meeting. And then on Wednesday, the Parliament Speaker, the four deputies and chairmen on committees will have a conference of committees meeting on the items of the agenda of the Second Ordinary Session.

Further, from Thursday through Saturday, September 12 – 14, there will be a seminar on transhumance and inter community conflicts in the ECOWAS Region.

Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor will officially open the seminar, which will be climaxed with a football game between the 4th Parliament of ECOWAS and the 54th Legislature of Liberia.

President George Weah, former member of both Parliaments, will play for both sides.

Thereafter, the ECOWAS Parliament will convene in its 2019 Second Extraordinary Session from 16th to 21st September, and President Weah is expected to open the session.

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