By Temitope Ponle
Abuja – The ECOWAS Parliament will support the G5 Sahel group to promote peace and security in the region, an official has said.
The Speaker of the parliament, Mr Moustapha Cissé Lo, made the pledge at the opening of the Second Ordinary Session of the parliament in Abuja on Thursday.
“Most of the countries are members of the ECOWAS as well so there is no competition and we cannot solve the security problem within ECOWAS if we do not solve the problem around the Sahel area.
“Normally, we are supposed to have a resolution urging the Heads of State to support the G5 Sahel.”
The G5 Sahel or G5S is an institutional framework for coordination of regional cooperation in development policies and security matters in West Africa.
The purpose of G5S is to strengthen the bond between economic development and security.
It was formed on Feb. 16, 2014, in Nouakchott and is made up of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger and is permanently seated in Mauritania.
The speaker said that most of the ECOWAS member states were part of the G5S and their contributions would complement the efforts of the group.
The Speaker of the National Assembly of Niger, Mr Yousouff Aya, urged members to support the fight against terrorism and illegal migration.
He added that the major challenges in the Sahel area were “under the purview of parliamentarians”.
“The countries of the Sahel have fought vigorously by creating an intergovernmental framework of G5 Sahel.
“On their part, the parliamentarians of these five countries have created an inter-parliamentary structure so as to follow the construction of this framework.
“The objective of this is to make sure that they have good governance in the conduct of activities in terms of security and development.
“The ECOWAS parliamentarians, on their part, should be spokespersons of this exigency for world peace.”
On the issue of illegal migration, Aya called on members of the parliament to create conditions for citizens to migrate legitimately to encourage free movement of persons and good.
He also lauded the efforts the parliament in its fight against illegal migration
“Mr Speaker, I want to hope that I can count on the involvement of your parliament so that we can create conditions for good migration that is free of mafia groups, that does not condemn our youth to death in the dessert or in the Mediterranean.
“I hope that the members of ECOWAS parliament will actively involve themselves so that migration will be regulated by laws and other enactments.
“I want you to commit ECOWAS so we can pull our efforts to organise more vigilant control at the borders more exposed in our community.”
The Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament is to consider and adopt the 2019 Budget of the Community and also several work programmes.
The ECOWAS Commission President, Jean-Claude Brou will present the community report and members of the parliament will also present their various country reports at the session.