HomeCover StoriesECOWAS Parliament elects first female speaker, adopts communique

ECOWAS Parliament elects first female speaker, adopts communique


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The sixth legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament holding in Kano state has elected Hajiya Maimounatou Ibrahima as the first female speaker of the Parliament for a four year term starting from 2024 to 2028.

Daily News 24 reports that Hajiya Maimounatou was unanimously elected by the over 112-member parliament during plenary on Thursday, presided by Senator Barau Jibrin, the Acting Speaker of the Parliament and Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate.

Shorty after her election, which was celebrated by fellow female parliamentarians who broke into solidarity songs, Senator Jibrin, who is also the First Deputy Speaker of the legislature, handed over the symbols of the parliament’s authority to Hajiya Maimounatou.

During her acceptance speech, Hajiya Maimounatou, a citizen of Togo, said she was excited over her election, promising to initiate far-reaching reforms that would enhance the work of the ECOWAS parliament in order to achieve its mandate.

“Our responsibilities are heavy and we must work together in an intelligent and vigourous. We must make the parliament efficient in order to serve our people well. We would come up with rules and ethics of conduct for our people to have confidence in the parliament,” she said.

The Speaker also noted that the ECOWAS sub-region has been beset by numerous political, and security challenges as well as high unemployment, climate change and the resurgence of terrorism in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

Also read: ECOWAS Parliament visits Kano schools, as Senator Barau donates bus, uniforms to 856 pupils

She said the parliament’s resolve to raise a mediation committee to interface with the aggrieved nations of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso has demonstrated brotherhood and openness in addressing the issues that caused the exit of the three countries from the ECOWAS.

Hajiya Maimounatou explained that the Parliament would initiate other reforms including developing the skills of women and youths as a step to tackle radicalisation.

“We would also develop a policy on communication and partner with members of the media community in the community in order to encourage interaction between our peoples and the parliament,” she added.

The new speaker thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Senator Barau Jibrin and the Governor of Kano state Abba Kabir Yusuf for the warm reception accorded to the parliament in Nigeria and Kano in particular.

Subsequently, Hajiya Maimounatou declared the second extraordinary session of the sixth ECOWAS Parliament closed.

The Kano Declaration

Meanwhile, prior to the election of the parliament’s new speaker, members have also adopted a communique, tagged “The Kano Declaration”, highlighting the challenges affecting the ECOWAS community and how to tackle them.

Read the full communique below:

A unition for the commander

SIXTH LEGISLATURE 2024 SECOND EXTRAORDINARY SESSION Kano, Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2025 May 2024


The ECOWAS Parliament during its 2024 Second Extraordinary Session held in Kano, Federal Republic of Nigeria, from 20 to 25 May 2024:

  1. Noting that the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament commenced at a time when there is security threat, aggravated by the upsurge in acts of terrorism at the borders of our various Member States;
  2. Considering that, despite the professionalism of our armed forces, the terrorist threat appears asymmetrical and can only be curbed by the combined efforts of all the Member States of the Community;
  3. Realising that our common future is being threatened by the desire of three of its Member States, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, which have undergone unconstitutional changes of power, to withdraw from the Community;
  4. Conscious of the damaging consequences of such a withdrawal and faithful to the ideals of our founding fathers and the aspirations of the people;
  5. Recalling that Members of the Sixth Legislature, upon assumption of office, resolved to work and to fully play their role to avoid the disintegration of the Community bequeathed to us by our founding fathers;
  6. Conscious of the desire expressed by the High Authorities of ECOWAS to enable these countries to return to their normal political life in order to alleviate the difficult situation being faced by their people;
  7. Recalling also that during the inaugural Session, Members of the Sixth Legislature unanimously and warmly welcomed the return of Parliamentarians from the sister Republic of Guinea;
  8. Considering that Parliament may take up any matter of interest to the Community, particularly with regard to respect for human rights or fundamental freedoms and can make recommendations to the institutions and bodies of the Community pursuant to Article 7 (d) of the Supplementary Act A/SA. 1/12/16 relating to the enhancement of the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament;
  9. Noting that by virtue of this power and out of concern for the preservation of peace and unity in the region, the ECOWAS Parliament did its best to support the lifting of sanctions against Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in order to help find acceptable solutions to the misunderstanding between our Community and our sister countries; Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger;
  10. Considering that the exercise of this function is in line with the indefatigable efforts of the Chairman of Authority of Heads of State and Government, His Excellency Mr Bola Ahmed TINUBU, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr ALIEU Omar Touray, to preserve the gains made in regional integration;
  11. Considering that the major priority is the the consolidation of peace within and outside the Community, and that it is only on this condition that we can hope for a value chain approach, based on research and complementarity, in order to prioritise health, food, free movement of people, goods and services, energy, communications and road infrastructures, and to give new impetus to the ECOWAS;
  12. For all the above reasons:

➤ Decides to set up an Ad Hoc Committee to be known as Ad Hoc Committee for the Facilitation, Mediation and Reconciliation of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger with the aim of finding compromises between the Member States wishing to leave the ECOWAS and the governing bodies of the Community;

➤ Decides to embark on a field visit to understand and help resolve the misunderstanding between Benin and Niger over recent tensions between the two border countries;

➤ Requests the ECOWAS Commission to intensify the development of the common defence strategy to combat terrorism, by increasing the resources needed for the total and permanent eradication of this scourge in the Community;

➤ Urges the ECOWAS Commission to collaborate more closely with the Community Parliament with a view to making available to it all the resources and information needed to carry out its tasks;

Calls on the ECOWAS Commission to revitalize the ECOWAS institutional communication in order to make its activities known to the people of the Community;

➤ Makes an urgent appeal to the Authority of Heads of State and Government and the transitional authorities in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to pursue dialogue with a view to safeguarding the unity and interests of the region.

Done in Kano, Federal Republic of Nigeria, on 23 May 2024


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