Attack on Mali’s President Traore: A slight on Democracy, ECOWAS – Ekweremadu

It is no longer news that the Interim President of Mali, Dioncounta Traore was beaten to stupor by aggrieved citizens the other day. In his reaction, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu condemned the mob attack on  Rt. Hon.Dioncounta Traore, describing it as a slight on democracy and the authority of ECOWAS.

Excerpts from an official Press Statement issued by Sen.Ekweremadu’s Media representative read as follows:

 

Ekweremadu made the condemnation in his closing address at the 1st Ordinary Session (2012) of the Community Parliament in Abuja on Saturday, May 26.

He noted with regret, the backsliding in the democratization efforts in the West African sub-region as evidenced in the recent happenings in Mali and Guinea Bissau.

 

“Only a few days ago, protesting civilians in Bamako, Mali, made their ways past a security posts in supposedly well-fortified compound, to physically attack the Head of the Transitional Government of Mali, the Right Hon. Dioncounda Traore, inflicting injuries on the Acting President” Ekweremadu briefed his colleagues.

“This is barbaric, a despicable affront on democracy and the authority ECOWAS and therefore stands condemned” Ekweremadu said.

 

He said the Parliament deeply regretted the ugly incident and called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the physical assault on the person of the Acting President of a country with a view to fishing out the perpetrators and bringing them to book in accordance with the laws of Mali.

Speaking further, Speaker who doubles as Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, called for an urgent review of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance to provide for deterrent sanctions on coup plotters.

“The present scenario calls for an immediate review of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance to provide for sanctions on coup plotters in West Africa with a provision for the Office of Prosecutor whose task would be to ensure that coup plotters are brought to book and visited with the right punishment even after leaving office to serve as a deterrent to others who would want to nurse such unholy ambition”, the Speaker stressed.

Senator Ekweremadu described the 1st Ordinary Session (2012) as highly successful as all set targets were met, citing particularly, the presentation and consideration of the Report and Recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Enhancement of Powers of the Community Parliament which adoption has been deferred for further study and input-making by Parliamentarians.

According to him, the trend of debate on the report had “conveyed in unequivocal terms, our desire and the need to lift our Parliament from a mere advisory legislature to a fully-fledged supranational Parliament”, saying the Parliament needed to reconvene soon in an Extra-Ordinary Session to round off the debate with a view to adopting the Report.

He appealed for sustained consultation and advocacy to ensure that the Commission and other relevant organs of the Community key into the project.

Sen. Ekweremadu reiterated that prospects for the enhancement of the Powers of the Parliament was very bright given the explicit support and commitment received from governments of member states and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency, Mr. Kadiri Desire Quedraogo who had expressed his full support for the transformation of the Parliament into a full legislative entity during his State of the Community Address to the Parliament.

During the session, the Plenary received and adopted Country Reports which detailed current social, economic and political situations of member countries from their national delegations. Plenary also received and considered recommendations and outcomes of delocalized meetings of various Standing Committees of the Parliament.

 

 

Uche Anichukwu

Special Adviser (Media) to Deputy President of Senate

27/05/12

 

 

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