Nigeria’s Barau Elected 1st Deputy Speaker Of ECOWAS Parliament


Deputy President Of the Nigerian Senate, Jibrin Barau, has been elected 1st Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS Parliament) during the inauguration of the 6th Legislature of the regional bloc.

The 6th Legislature was inaugurated by the Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, who is also the Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the regional body in accordance with the Supplementary Act on the Enhancement of Powers of the regional legislature in a ceremony which was held in Abuja on Thursday.

The substantive Speaker of the regional legislature was unable to be elected following the inability of Togo, which the position was zoned, to produce the Speaker due to the political situation in the country.

Barau was nominated by Nigerian member of Parliament, Awaji- Inombek Dagomie Abiante, in a session presided by Liberia’s Edwin Snowe as interim Speaker.

His nomination was seconded by another Nigerian member of Parliament, Senator Ireti Kingibe and he was voted unopposed.

The office of the Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament is usually reserved for Nigeria anytime the country is not presiding as Speaker of the Parliament.

Also elected as Second Deputy Speaker was Adjaratou Traore Coulibally from Cote d’Ivoire, who polled 54 votes to beat Cecile Ahoumnon from Benin, who got no single vote.

The position of the Third Deputy Speaker was won by Alexander Kwamena Afenyo- Markin from Ghana in a unanimous vote.

The Fourth Deputy Speaker position was won by Billay Tunkara from The Gambia with 47 votes beating Orlando Pereira Dias from Cabo Verde who got 7 votes.

Outgoing Speaker of the Parliament, Sidie Mohammed Tunis, thanked the regional body for the opportunity given him to serve for four years even as he reaffirmed his commitment to the regional body.

Tunis was appointed ceremonial speaker, following the gap that exists because Togo, the country to which the Speakership was zoned, as the country was not able to produce the Speaker due to some prevailing political situation.

Tunis however announced his intention to travel to Togo to see how best to get a Speaker, saying “I will proceed to Togo to have a conversion with the authorities there with a view to encouraging them to have their delegation inaugurated as soon as possible so that we can have a Speaker to run this institution. It is very, very important. There are so many things to do in the sub-region, and the ECOWAS Parliament has a very big role to play in the sub-region but they will not be able to do so without the Speaker.”

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar in his address, noted that in the face of the various challenges confronting the region, including peace, stability, security, as well as the unity of the region, the role of the Parliament is more important than ever.

The Minister, who is also the chair of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, commended the outgoing 5th Legislature, especially its Speaker Mohamed Tunis, for their invaluable contributions to the ECOWAS Parliament and the Organization as a whole.

Tuggar said “it is, therefore, imperative that the Parliament continues to work in synergy with the ECOWAS Commission and other Institutions that serve as the executive and judicial arms of our governments”.

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