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Senator Barau Emerges Speaker Of ECOWAS Parliament

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The Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Barau Jibrin, has emerged as the acting Speaker of the Sixth Legislature of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The Parliament which was established under Articles 6 and 13 of the ECOWAS revised treaty of 1993, is composed of 115 seats.

Senator Barau, who is the leader of the Nigerian delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament, emerged during the inaugural session of the assembly held in Abuja on Thursday.

The Deputy Senate President was first nominated as the 1st Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament by Rep Awaji-Inombek D. Abiante and seconded by Senator Ireti Kingibe.

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However, in accordance with the rotational system established by Decision A/DEC. 6/06/06 of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, the Speakership of the Sixth Legislature of the sub-regional body has been zoned to the Republic of Togo.

However, during the inauguration of the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS, the delegation of the Republic of Togo was not present; hence, a Speaker Pro-tempore, Edwin Melvin Snowe JR, a Liberian, was elected.

Snowe JR presided over the inaugural session of the Parliament, including the election of the four deputy speakers.

The Librarian lawmaker noted that in order not to create a vacuum, Senator Barau, as the 1st Deputy Speaker, will act as the Speaker of the Parliament pending the inauguration of the Togolese delegation.

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The exercise also saw the emergence of Honourable Adjaratou Traore Coulibaly (Cote D’ Ivoire) as 2nd Deputy Speaker; Honourable Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin (Ghana), 3rd Deputy Speaker and Honourable Billay G Tunkara (Gambia) who emerged as Fourth Deputy Speaker.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Deputy President of the Senate on Media and Publicity, Ismail Mudashir, said the opening ceremony was attended by the President Bola Tinubu of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.

In his speech at the inauguration, President Tinubu called on ECOWAS member states to come together, strengthen ties, and reject forces bent on causing division within the community.

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He added that regional solidarity was imperative to strengthen the bloc’s resilience and effectiveness at this critical juncture.

Lawmakers from Nigeria, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte D’ Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone were inaugurated as members of the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS.

The ECOWAS Parliament, also known as the Community Parliament, is one of the institutions of the ECOWAS.

It is the Assembly of Peoples of the Community, serving as a forum of dialogue, consultation and consensus for representatives of the people of West Africa to promote integration.

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