As the year 2020 draws to an end, I take much pleasure in sending out to you, on behalf of the Bureau, Members, and Staff of the ECOWAS Parliament, heartiest good wishes and warm season greetings.
At Christmas, we reflect on the humble, symbolic and divine birth of Jesus Christ. In addition, we reflect on his message of hope, compassion, salvation, reconciliation, forgiveness and peace. The sound of hymns, exchange of gifts and best wishes that characterized the celebration of the festive holiday, also provide us the much needed courage, aspiration and commitment to create a better society in which all humans are treated equally, virtuously and with dignity.
This year’s observance of the Christmas season comes at a time when the whole world, including our region, is challenged with the scourge of the COVID 19 pandemic. This has rendered thousands of our compatriots ill and sadly claimed the lives of hundreds more. In addition to the uncertainties brought upon us by the pandemic, evil men have continued to perpetrate terror and other forms of violence in many parts of our community. Our heart goes out to the families that have been subjected to unbearable circumstances and harsh conditions at this time of the year. May the souls of our dearly departed (both victims of the pandemic and the general insecurity) rest in perpetual peace.
As we prepare to usher in a New Year, let those of us, who are privileged to witness the dawning of the New Year, give praise and thanks to the Almighty for his many blessings bestowed upon us as a region and a people. The arrival of a New Year is a time of reflection – of looking back on accomplishments and of things left unfinished. In looking back, we can say that 2020 was a landmark year for the ECOWAS Parliament. We rejoiced in commemorating the inauguration of the Fifth Legislature and celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Parliament. Thanks to the contributions and support we have continuously received from all Member States, Regional Institutions and Development Partners.
As a Parliament, we recall several challenges in achieving our core mandate in the outgoing year. We remain grateful for the unwavering dedication and commitment of all Honorable Members and Staff in making sure we succeed in playing our role as the Community Parliament.
The New Year is also a time for resolutions and looking forward toward the future. Looking at 2021 and beyond, the ECOWAS Parliament is determined to continue promoting representative democracy by embracing diverse ideas and ensuring the active involvement of the West African populations in the process of integration, defending the principles of the rule of law and good governance. Furthermore, I pledge that our Institution will continue to ensure that it never withers in providing the much needed support in the areas of peace keeping and mediation, economic growth, free movement of peoples among others.
Our region has great potentials and our resilient people have the capacity to rise above the challenges we face to make the West African Sub Region what it ought to be. It is a privilege for me to be a part of the leadership of our region in this era of transformation.
I pray God’s guidance in leading the Parliament in the direction of peace, reconciliation and representative democracy. I equally wish all ECOWAS citizens and residents living within our borders, a joyous holiday season and a very happy and prosperous 2021. May the New Year be filled with good health, happiness, and prosperity.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! May God bless us all, and bless ECOWAS.