BY Linda Ike
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament has resolved to enact Good Governance Bill to end tenure extension by greedy African leaders in the region.
The bill if it scales through, will ensure Leaders in west African sub-region nurturing the ambition to change their countries constitution and seek for tenure elongation to desist from it.
The Chairman, Committee on Political Affairs and Security, Hon. Edwin Snowe Junior stated this during a joint press briefing at the ongoing Delocalised Meeting of the joint Committee on Political affairs, Peace, Security and Africa peer review mechanism (APRM), Legal Affairs and Human Rights/Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment holding in Banjul, Gambia.
He disclosed that the ECOWAS Parliament has been empowered to carry out an oversight functions .
“We are now discussing as we will be doing in this meeting the good governance bill encouraging countries or the president to desist from third term because when you ambushed your constitution, you gave the territory to ambush your tenure . So, if you have done a one term and the citizens say they are comfortable with you because you have done well, then you can go and have a second term. But most government if they have done the second term they will say we want to make the constitution better for the people. So, they go and change the constitution and by changing the constitution, they say now is a new republic. So I can now go on a new trend for the new republic which is wrong. ECOWAS parliament has a reason why we have a gender committee because in most of the conflicts, our mothers, our sisters , our wives , our daughters suffer the most .”
“The supplementary act of ECOWAS Parliament of December 17, 2016 before that time ECOWAS was just like an adversary body, we just go to Abuja and attend the delocalise meeting , we talk but there was no action on what we did. Today , the ECOWAS Parliament has what we called the enhancement of power. We can now provide oversight, we can go to any community institutions and provide oversight functions . We can go and monitor elections . We were just in Dakar to monitor the parliamentary elections .
“That is why we have different committees here that will play a very active roles in a legal framework of what we do in our community. So, within the ECOWAS Parliament it has been very robust especially for the past years,” he s
Snowe explained the diverse reasons why military toppled various Presidents in ECOWAS region.
“On prevention of conflicts , there is no one solution in preventing conflicts . today you could get angry with your parents for not paying your tuition , so you go home and say to your mama , daddy am up stairs, you didn’t pay my tuition so I did not go to school . Then your parents pay your tuition maybe two days later they didn’t buy you new shoes so you go upstairs for the new shoes . so, what am I trying to say is there is no single solution to our problem . for example, we have two, three coup d’etat . In Guinea Conakry, you will agree with me that the President was seeking for the third term from a constitution reform . There was referendum , it was very unpopular and ECOWAS spoke against it and as a matter of fact ECOWAS has sent observers to Guinea and they were rejected and they were sent back from the airport . So, the president went for a third term . So, based on the action of the president the military reacted . That was the cause of coup detat in Guinea Conackry. In Burkina Faso , it was a different situation, it was said that military said the Government was not doing much to fight the insurgency and everything turned upside down and the president gave much support to fight the rebel and then they took over so it was different reasons. The third one was in Mali . In Mali, they had a parliamentary election, they had the presidential election and the president won the election . and then president try to make sure that his party got the majority in the parliamentary elections so he started tampering with the results and things got over the street and they moved overthrowing the government by the military . So, how do we as a people take ownership of our action ? when you get into the aircraft now to leave this country you are no longer representing your family , you are now representing your country and anything you do they will say he is a Gambian, this one he is a Togolese , oh this is a Liberian .”
“So, the supplementary act of ECOWAS so, we must as a community be able to protect the interest of our community ,” he said.