This is indeed a momentous and historic day
for West Africa and for all the peoples of the Community. We stand together to
celebrate 47 years of regional cooperation and integration, economic
activities, monetary and financial cooperation, as well as social and cultural
exchanges, all geared towards raising the standard of living of the peoples of
the ECOWAS Members States.
Since its establishment on 28th May,
1975, ECOWAS has evolved through many complexities, thereby situating itself as
a thriving Regional Cooperation body, asserting its role in regional and global
affairs and discharging its duties to the West African sub-region. These have
come to bare on the tremendous successes the organisation has recorded in the
implementation of key programs including: the Free Movements of Persons, ECOWAS
Trade Liberalization Scheme, ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Program, Peace,
Security, Democracy and Good Governance, as well as Agricultural and
Infrastructural Policies, to mention just a few.
While for most of our citizens, the ECOWAS
integration process is a huge success story, sadly, our celebrations today of
peace, unity and prosperity are over shadowed by the ugly reality of the suspension of three of our Member States;
Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso, which was necessitated by the unfortunate
overthrow of democratic rule. We are also grappling with terrorist activities
in the Sahel, challenged economies, rising cost of basic commodities and the
ripple effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Through all these, our determination
remains unequivocal and our solidarity, very effective.
The ECOWAS Parliament, has, since its
formation, continue to ensure adequate representation of the peoples of the
sub-region and demonstrate strong will towards achieving regional integration.
On the auspicious occasion of the celebration
of this historic milestone, we reaffirm the Parliament’s commitment in
contributing efficiently and effectively, towards the implementation of the
programs of the Community and strengthening representative democracy throughout
the region. We will, within the limits
of our mandate, continue to promote peace, security and stability in the
region, as well as defend the rights of the peoples of West Africa.
I wish all Member States, Institutions,
Citizens and Partners of ECOWAS, a happy 47th ECOWAS Day.