ECOWAS Parliament Delegation Arrives in Liberia to hold Extraordinary Session

Flash Back: ECOWAS Parliament’s Third Deputy Speaker, Sen. Prince Y. Johnson, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President, RL., Amb. Moustapha Cissé Lo, Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament, Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor, VP, RL. Dr. Bhofal Chambers, Speaker, House of Rep., with dignitaries at a delocalized meeting held in Monrovia, August 2018 

Monrovia – Members of the ECOWAS Parliament have begun arriving in Liberia for a ‘historic’ extraordinary session expected to kick off Tuesday, September 10 in Monrovia.

Addressing a team of reporters upon arrival at the Robert International Airport on Monday, September 9, the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Ambassador Moustapha Cissé Lo said he was glad to be in Liberia again for the first extraordinary session of the Parliament outside of Nigeria.

Ambassador Cissé Lo noted that he considers Liberia his second home and looks forward to a fruitful session.

Speaking to reporters earlier, the head of the Liberian delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament, Rep. Edwin M. Snowe said the extra sitting is being characterized by several activities including a parliamentary seminar on transhumance and intercommunity conflicts in the ECOWAS region, ECOWAS Parliamentary women forum with Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, and the official extra-ordinary session at the Ministerial Complex in Monrovia. 

He disclosed that Vice President Taylor will officially open the seminar on “Transhumance and Intercommunity Conflicts in the ECOWAS Region” on Thursday, September 12. 

Experts including AsatuBah-Kenneth of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) and the Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Tolbert Nyenswah are expected to make presentations on transhumance activities – the practice of moving livestock from one grazing ground/country to another and also cross border activities. 

Then on Monday, next week, Rep. Snowe revealed that the ECOWAS Parliament’s second extraordinary session will officially open with a keynote address by President George M. Weah as guest of honor.

ECOWAS Parliament Concern over Violence in South Africa

Meanwhile, the ECOWAS Parliament has expressed concern over the violence perpetrated against foreign nationals (Africans from outside South Africa) residing in South Africa.

It can be recalled that earlier this month, riots occurred in the South African city of Johannesburg leading to the deaths of at least seven people. 

The riots were xenophobic in nature targeting foreign nationals from the rest of Africa, most notably Nigeria.

The Chairman on Rule of Law of the ECOWAS Parliament, Christophe Padumhekou Tchao of the Togolese National Assembly said the Parliament is expected to adopt a resolution on the situation in South Africa during the Monrovia setting.

According to Mr Tchao, the resolution will be presented to the ECOWAS Heads of State calling for protection of African nationals residing in South Africa. 

“We will take a resolution, and after that, we will present it to our Heads of State. When South Africans were fighting with white people, everybody supported them. Our Heads of States were with them.  We fought for their freedom. And now they don’t want to see their brothers and sisters. It is no good. That’s why we are here to discuss these things,” he said.

He was also buttressed by Rep. Snowe who stated that the discussion is expected to be led by the Nigerian delegation that constitutes the largest parliamentary block of the ECOWAS Parliament.

“The ECOWAS Parliament will be coming up with a resolution. What happened in South Africa affected our brothers and sisters. Nigerians were affected. So, we will be discussing the issue. South Africa is not part of our region but those that are being affected are our brothers and sisters from the West African region,” he indicated. 

Meanwhile, Rep. Snowe has announced that a friendly football match will be played between the ECOWAS Parliament and the 54th Liberian Legislature on Sunday, September 15 at the Anthony Tubman Sports Stadium in Monrovia. 

He noted that President George Weah, as a former member of the Liberian Legislature and the ECOWAS Parliament, will play for both teams during the match.

He called on Liberians to unite and portray the good image of the country as the historic event will bring about economic benefit and strengthen Liberia’s place in the sub region.