Address Terrorism, Climate Change, Abbas Urges ECOWAS

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On Monday, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament to address critical issues plaguing the sub-region, including terrorism, banditry, piracy, human trafficking, human rights abuses, climate change, and bad governance.

Abbas made this appeal while delivering a goodwill message at the opening of the 2024 First Ordinary Session of the sixth legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja. Represented by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, who was recently inaugurated as a member of the ECOWAS Parliament, Abbas emphasized the need for member states to show commitment and drive change.

A statement from Levinus Nwabughiogu, Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Speaker, quoted Abbas: “While I greatly commend the ECOWAS Parliament for its invaluable contributions, we must acknowledge that multifaceted challenges still confront the sub-region in new and complex dimensions. Terrorism, banditry, piracy, human trafficking, human rights abuses, the impact of climate change, and bad governance remain serious impediments to peace, security, and economic development in our sub-region.

“These challenges place a greater responsibility on the ECOWAS Parliament to carry out its legislative functions with increased vigor, passion, and commitment. It is my sincere hope that this session will produce resolutions that will positively impact and mitigate these challenges. However, any resolutions reached will amount to nothing without commitment and cooperation from ECOWAS member states.

“Since its establishment by the ECOWAS Treaty in 1975, the ECOWAS Parliament has significantly strengthened representative democracy, promoted and defended human rights, democracy, the rule of law, transparency, accountability, and good governance in the sub-region. It has also actively promoted peace, security, and stability.”

Abbas further called for unity and cooperation, stating, “I appeal to our leaders to commit to implementing the parliament’s resolutions for the greater good of our sub-region. The current challenges cannot be decisively addressed without unity of purpose, partnership, and cooperation in our decisions and actions.”

He pledged the readiness of President Bola Tinubu’s administration to defend and promote democratic tenets with support from the 10th National Assembly. “Rt Honorable Speaker and members, let me assure you that under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigeria is committed to defending and promoting democratic governance, the rule of law, and human rights in our sub-region. The Nigerian parliament will support the President through legislative measures that provide a robust framework for Nigeria’s foreign policy, strengthen diplomatic relations, promote economic interests, enhance security cooperation, and promote regional and global peace.

“We will continue to cooperate and partner with the ECOWAS Parliament in building legislative capacity, sharing experiences, and ensuring the implementation of resolutions. Nigeria’s strong representation in the ECOWAS Parliament will push for debates and resolutions that bring immense political, economic, and social benefits to our sub-region,” he added.


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