Deputy Senate President, Barau Emerges Acting Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament

The Deputy President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Barau Jibrin, APC, Kano North, has been elected as the Acting Speaker of the 6th Legislature of Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Senator Barau, who is the leader of the Nigerian delegation to the ECOWAS parliament, emerged during the inaugural session of the Assembly held in Abuja on Thursday.

In a statement yesterday in Abuja by Special Adviser to the Deputy President of the Senate, Ismail Mudashir, the Deputy President of the Senate was first nominated as the 1st Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament by Representative Awaji-Inombek D. Abiante and seconded by Senator Ireti Kingibe, LP, FCT.

In accordance with the rotational system established by Decision A/DEC. 6/06/06 of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, the Speakership of the 6th Legislature of the sub-regional body has been zoned to the Republic of Togo.

However, during the inauguration of the 6ixth Legislature of the sub-regional body, the delegation of the Republic of Togo was not present; hence, a Speaker Pro-tempore, Edwin Melvin Snowe JR, a Liberian, was elected.

Snowe JR presided over the inaugural session of the Parliament, including the election of the four deputy speakers.

He said in order not to create a vacuum, Senator Barau, as the 1st Deputy Speaker, would act as the Speaker of the Parliament pending when the Togolese delegation was inaugurated.

Honourable Adjaratou Traore Coulibaly (Cote D’ Ivoire) emerged as 2nd Deputy Speaker; Honourable Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin (Ghana) was elected 3rd Deputy Speaker and Honourable Billay G Tunkara (Gambia) emerged as the Fourth Deputy Speaker.

The opening ceremony was attended by President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In his speech, President Tinubu called on ECOWAS member states to come together, strengthen ties, and reject forces bent on causing division within the community.

He said regional solidarity was imperative to strengthen the bloc’s resilience and effectiveness at this critical juncture.

Lawmakers from Nigeria, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote D’ Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone were inaugurated as members of the 6th Legislature of the ECOWAS.

The ECOWAS Parliament, also known as the Community Parliament, is one of the institutions of the ECOWAS.

It is the Assembly of Peoples of the Community, serving as a forum for dialogue, consultation and consensus for representatives of the people of West Africa to promote integration.

The ECOWAS Parliament which was established under Articles 6 and 13 of the ECOWAS revised treaty of 1993, is composed of 115 seats.