Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Rt. Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis has enjoined Nigerians to wear the armour of peace, love and sportsmanship as they elect new leaders into parliament and the executive next year.
The Speaker, who disclosed this in his closing remarks at the Closing Ceremony of the 2022 Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament, also charged citizens and leaders of Liberia, Sierra Leone and other countries in the sub-region holding elections in 2023.
“Honourable Members, Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, Talking about elections in 2023, I wish to call on our brothers and sisters in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other countries in the sub-region, who will be going to the polls in 2023, to embrace love, peace and sportsmanship. We must remember that peace and stability is paramount for the well-being of the Community. We must never allow the need to make choices to tear us apart; rather, the choices we make should strengthen our love and brotherliness.
This is as he commended President Muhammadu Buhari for honouring its invitation to open the 2022 Second Ordinary Session which held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
“Permit me to extend my deep appreciation to His Excellency Umaro Sissoco Embalo, Chairman of Authority of Heads of State and Government and President of Guinea Bissau, as well as His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, President of the Republic of Nigeria, for honouring our invitation to attend the formal opening of the Session.
I equally wish to extend our profound gratitude to other dignitaries, notably; His Excellency Fortune Charumbia, the President of the Pan-African Parliament, His Excellency Ennaam Mayara, President of the Moroccan House of Councilors, Heads of ECOWAS Institutions and other dignitaries for availing us their presence, thereby adding value to our Session. I thank them for their commitment to the ECOWAS Parliament and the Community at large,” the Speaker remarked.
Speaking about challenges, Sidie emphasised that each year comes with different challenges and uncertainties, therefore, urging everyone to brace up and be optimistic.
“Let me draw your attention to the fact that, each year comes with its own blessings, challenges, and uncertainties. We must, therefore stand on the side of hope that the year 2023 will usher in the best for us. In our moments of stock-taking and deep sober reflection, let us all, while pondering on our achievements and inadequacies, draw up new and dynamic ideas towards the tasks that we will be faced with in 2023.
There is no better time than now to brace up in readiness to work for a better future for our people, regardless of the political upheavals, economic instability, humanitarian and environmental disasters, that have bedeviled the subregion. I am confident that we have the capacity to face our challenges and make the best of them to drive us into growth and development. Let us always remember that we are always able.”
Congratulating the parliamentarians for their perseverance and commitment towards the call to duty to the Community, the Sierra Leonean lawmaker said:
“I wish to also recognise my dear colleagues, the Honorable Members of this Parliament, for their hard work, cooperation and presence throughout the duration of this session. Your passion, dedication and commitment towards the realisation of the Parliament’s goals and objectives is worthy of praise and emulation. In the same vein, I appreciate everyone whose contribution made this Session a success. To this end, we at the ECOWAS Parliament will watch, pray and wish that these elections will be peaceful and successful.”