Pres. Weah: “Please be assured of my unwavering support at any times and I avail myself as your Ambassador at the Authority of Heads of State and Government.”_
Monrovia– President George Weah has pledged his unwavering support to the new Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidi Mohammed Tunis following his election and installation ceremony held on Monday, March 9, 2020.
Tunis is the Leader of Government Business representing the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) in the Sierra Leone House of Parliament.
In his congratulatory message, President Weah pointed out that Hon. Tunis’ ascendancy comes at a time when the West African region is grappling with “scores of different issues ranging from political, economic and the threat from the coronavirus disease,” which has been reported in two member states – Nigeria and Senegal.
President Weah, who once served as head of the Liberian delegation to the regional parliamentary bloc when he was as a Senator, expressed hope that the new Speaker will rise to the occasion and availed himself as his (Tunis) Ambassador at the Authority of Heads of State and Government.
“Notwithstanding the challenges, I am confident that with your credential and a hopefully proactive 5th Legislature over which you now preside, much energy will be exerted at addressing the problems that characterize our states and transformative vision will be delivered for our sub-region,” President Weah said in his congratulatory message to Speaker Tunis.
“Please be assured of my unwavering support at all times and I avail myself as your Ambassador at the Authority of Heads of State and Government.”
President Weah, in his communication, also lauded Speaker Tunis’ predecessors including Mustapha Cisse Lo, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Mahamane Ousmane and Professor Ali Nouhoum Diallo for their “great work” in giving the Parliament the much-needed visibility and enhanced power.
Hon. Tunis replaced Mustapha Cisse Lo of Senegal and effectively confirmed that Sierra Leone has succeeded Senegal for the position which is rotational and based on alphabetical order.
Pledge To Promote Peace
Meanwhile, in his inaugural address at an elaborate ceremony in the Niamey, the Capital of Niger, Speaker Tunis pledged to work diligently with the Authority of Heads of State to promote peace in the sub-region.
“Mindful of Article 2 of the ECOWAS Protocol Relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Security adopted in Lomé on 10th December 1999, we shall diligently work with the Authority of Heads of State and Government and Council of Ministers to ensure that our sub-region is safe, secure and prosperous,” he said.
He recounted that over the past two decades, ECOWAS, working with other global institutions, has done a lot to keep the peace of the region.
“Peacekeepers from our nations left their families, served, and in several instances, fought and died to protect vulnerable populations of our community. We have spent a lot of resources on peacekeeping operations and the trend continues today in certain parts of our Community. The responsibility is ours to jealously protect the peace we enjoy today and work tirelessly to bring to end instabilities in our region,” he said.
Speaking further, he promised to assist the ECOWAS Commission in its integrated economic activities by providing the much-needed oversight in the areas of industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, youth empowerment, and monetary and financial issues.
Hon Tunis’ ascendancy marks the first time that Sierra Leone is occupying the position of Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament since its establishment in 2002.
He is expected to serve until 2024 when Togo will be next in line to succeed Sierra Leone.
It can be recalled that President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leonean Parliamentary delegation endorsed Speaker Tunis at the Extra-Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Monrovia in September 2019.
President Bio, in a televised message to Members of the ECOWAS Parliament which was played at the Extra-Ordinary Session, said, “I have known him for several years and he served in several leadership positions in this country,” adding that “I know his wealth of knowledge he will bring to the table to make ECOWAS Parliament a better institution than it is currently.”