By Ifeanyi Nwoko
Lome, Nov. 17, 2020 Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis, has paid glowing tributes to former Speakers of the sub-regional body for their contributions to growing the parliament, as the institution celebrates its 20th anniversary since it began plenary in year 2000, in Bamako.
Tunis, who spoke at a joint delocalized meeting of parliament in Lome, Togo, described the former speakers as ”famous West Africans whose contributions had led ECOWAS Parliament to the height it had attained”.
“Let me use this occasion to congratulate all Members of the ECOWAS Parliament from 2000 to date, including, unfortunately the deceased.
“Let me also congratulate my predecessors in office, notably: His Excellency Ali Nouhoum Diallo(1st Legislature), His Excellency Mahamane Ousmane- (2nd Legislature), His Excellency Ike Ekweremadu (3rd Legislature), and His Excellency Moustapha Cisse Lo (4th Legislature).
“These famous sons of West Africa, supported by other Members, contributed immensely towards making the ECOWAS Parliament what it is today. Certainly, posterity will reward your efforts and the sacrifices you made.
“I also wish to congratulate the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, Council of Ministers and the successive Presidents of the ECOWAS Commission for their collaboration and support.
Delivering an address as part of the opening of the meeting of the Joint Committees on: Education, Science and Technology -Telecommunication and Information Technology and the committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security, as well as Committee on Infrastructure, Tunis added that 20 years was an important milestone for the parliament.
“Like I said earlier, within the course of next year, we intend to celebrate in a bigger way, showcasing our activities and past achievements for the appreciation of stakeholders,” he said.
Tunis, who presides over the 5th Legislature, recalled that the first legislature of parliament was confronted with the major challenge of how best to make the Institution known across the sub-region.
He said that as a recent, in 2003, the leadership of parliament introduced the idea of holding Committee meetings outside the headquarters, with Togo being the first country to host such delocalized meeting, adding that it was a worthy coincidence that the anniversary celebration was holding alongside the delocalized meeting in Lome, given the immense contributions of Togo to regional integration.
“Initially, our plan was to make it a big event next month in Abuja. Unfortunately, we would not be holding a Session until January 2021. We shall, therefore, cut the anniversary cake here in Lome and plan a series of other events spanning into the whole of next year.
A high point of the event was the cutting of the 20th anniversary cake by the Tunis, accompanied by the Speaker of the Togolese Parliament, Hon. Yawa Djigbodi Tsegan.