A recent memorandum released by the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament Senegalese-born Moustapha Cissé Lô in which he raised concern that some parliamentarian delegates, who go to represent their respective countries, only sign for per diems and abandon session, is not only despicable but lay bare or exposes the character of people who clamor for leadership on the continent.
Speaker Cisse’ Lo in his memorandum dated 10 February described the practice of parliamentarians signing in and abandoning session as “betrayal of confidence reposed in us as by the West African populace who are anxiously looking up to us to turn their checkered fortunes.”
“At a personal level, I need hardly emphasize that this conduct is not benefitting our highly exalted offices as representatives of over 300 million citizens of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)”, he emphasized and added that most members of the Parliament, who are in the habit of not staying for the entire duration of session, do so immediately after collecting their stipends for the entire period they are supposed to stay for session/meeting.
Cisse’ Lo did not specifically name any delegate, but this paper has gathered that Senator Weah did in fact, leave the session after he signed for his stipends for Ghana. It was not established where he did return for the closing session.
But the disclosure by Speaker Cisse’ Lo prompted a member of the Liberian Senate, G. Alphonso Gaye of Grand Gedeh County to have written plenary on February 21, requesting that body to make Liberia’s official delegation to the ECOWAS Parliamentary conference to report on its deliberations from the regional forum.
Montserrado County Senator George Weah heads Liberia’s delegation to that parliament, accompanied by Senator Prince Yormie Johnson of Nimba County.
According to Senator Gaye, since the induction of the two senators by plenary to represent Liberia at the ECOWAS Parliament, there is no indication they have submitted report on their deliberations that could benefit the ECOWAS region in general and Liberia, specifically.
The senate plenary has accordingly requested Senators Johnson and Weah to make comprehensive report within one week on their activities at the Parliament.
It is highly regrettable to the say the least that leaders designated to represent the country at such important regional forum would go out, returned and conspicuously sit down in silence without informing the people they claim to represent.
Both Senators Weah and PYJ should be reminded in no uncertain terms that leadership is about accountability and transparency, not self. If Speaker Cisse’ Lo had not raised concern in his memo, Senator Gaye would not have been moved to request plenary to make both men to account so that the Liberian people would be informed. If this is how the two senators, who are respectively vying to become the next President of Liberia, intend to provide leadership, then we think they should think again.