The First Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament opened Monday in Abuja, Nigeria, with the induction of new members from Liberia. The xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the plight of African immigrants and elections conducted recently in some member states topped the agenda for discussion.
The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Ike Ekweremadu,swore in Liberia’s Montserrado County Senator George M. Weah. Senator, Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County, who was elected to the ECOWAS Parliament, was absent for the swearing in program.
Both Senators Weah and Johnsonreplace Hon. Mobutu V. Nyenpan, and Hon. Theodore Momoh, former Senators and outgoing members of the ECOWAS Parliament of Sinoe and Gbarpolo Countiesrespectively.
The Liberian Delegation to the ongoing session was accompanied by the Liberian Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Prof. Al-Hassan Conteh. Other members of the delegation included Hon. HajaSiryon (Bomi County), Hon. Jefferson S. Kanmoh (Sinoe County), and Hon. Tokpah J. Mulbah (Bong County).
Hon. Muna Pelham-Youngblood also accompanied the delegation as a special guest of honor.
At the same time, the Parliament, following the adoption of the agenda, debated the xenophobic attacks in the Republic of South Africa, the plight of African immigrants in the Mediterranean Sea and elections that were conducted in some ECOWAS Member States.
The ECOWAS Parliament iscomposed of one hundred and fifteen(115) seats with each Member State having a guaranteed minimum of five(5) seats.The remaining forty(40) seats are shared on the basis of population.
Liberia’s five members to the Parliament now include Senators Weah and Johnson and Representatives Siryon, Mulbah and Kanmoh.- seen by Othello B. Garblah