The Deputy Senate President and Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Parliament), Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Thursday urged the new Chairman of ECOWAS, President John Mahama, to make war against terrorism and youth unemployment his top priorities.
Ekweremadu, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, made the call during a meeting with Mahama at the State House in Accra, Ghana.
“Ghana is a very important country in this sub-region. In terms of democracy, you hold the light in this sub-region and we believe that emerging as the Chairman of ECOWAS will spread this light.
“However, our greatest challenges today are terrorism, militancy and youth unemployment. It is our hope that addressing these challenges would be the top priorities of your tenure. We at the ECOWAS Parliament want to assure you of our solidarity and total support as you confront these challenges,” the statement read in part.
The statement also expressed Ekweremadu's campaign for “a summit of heads of state and government of both ECOWAS and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), to build better synergy and raise the capacity of our member states to combat our common enemies.”
The call, the statement added, was made at the opening of a two-day dialogue session on the challenges of border crossing and opportunities for trade and finance for ECOWAS countries organised by National Institute for Legislative Studies, Abuja for members of ECOWAS Parliament in Accra, Ghana.
Ekweremadu, it further stated, emphasised that ECOWAS protocols on free movement should go hand-in-hand with adequate infrastructural and human capital capacity to police the borders.
He lamented very low intra-regional trade among West African nations, describing it as “very negligible, alarming and embarrassing.”