The Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)Parliament, Ike Ekweremadu, has condemned in strong terms the military intrusion in the politics of Burkina Faso and called for the immediate restoration of democratic rule in the West African nation.
Ekweremadu stated this while on a working visit to the Office of the Minister of State II for Foreign Affairs and the Supervising Minister of Information, Muhammad Nuruddeen, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, today.
Ekweremadu, who described the military intervention in the wake of last week’s mass protests in Burkina Faso capital as “completely unacceptable”, said democracy had taken root in the sub-region and warned against any attempt by any elements to take the sub-region back to the ugly past of dictatorship.
He said “We at ECOWAS Parliament stand with the Nigerian Government and ECOWAS on the military interference in Burkina Faso; we insist that constitutional rule must be reinstalled in line with the ECOWAS’ Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, and the provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, because the days of military regimes are gone”.
Ekweremadu, who doubles as the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, pledged the total support of the Community Parliament towards the restoration of full constitutional rule in Burkina Faso.
“We want to ensure that we don’t roll back at this point, so we stand with you as a parliament. We stand with the sub region in ensuring that democracy is fully restored in the West African country”, he stressed.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament also called for Nigeria’s support towards the on-going drive to enhance the powers of ECOWAS Parliament.
He added “I must point out to you that ECOWAS Parliament is essentially, the only regional parliament in the whole world that has no legislative responsibilities.
“Just lately, the Authority of Heads of States of the African Union graciously approved the enhancement of powers for the Pan African Parliament and of course, our colleagues within ECOWAS, the French-speaking people have for a long time enabled the Parliament of West African Economic and monetary Union (EUMOA).
“The same goes for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). But ECOWAS Parliament has remained an advisory body since inception. We feel very embarrassed that this is still so. We need to make progress”, he said.
Speaking, the Minister, Muhammad Nuruddeen, assured of the Nigeria’s full support towards the enhancement of the powers of the Community Parliament, noting that it was pivotal to facilitating the integration progress in the sub-region.
He noted that the enhancement of the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament is an issue that has been on the table for too long, saying that there was no good reason it should be so, especially given that there is a sister parliament, the EUMOA Parliament, whose powers had long been enhanced.