The President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe Eyadema, arrived Abuja today to attend the opening session of the legislature of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament. President Eyadema’s presence is in keeping with his position as the current Chairman of the sub-regional body.
Mr. Eyadema was received by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, after his flight touched down at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at exactly 11.05am Nigerian time. Also present to receive the Togolese President was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama and a host of other officials of ECOWAS.
Also expected at the event was the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, who is coming to Nigeria partly as a show of support to his country man, His Excellency, Mustapha Cisse Lo, the current Speaker of the regional legislature.
Lene Dimban, Ambassador of Togo to Nigeria, while speaking to newsmen indicated that President Gnassingbe Eyadema would have a private audience with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria on both bilateral and ECOWAS regional issues.
ECOWAS parliament, according to Olukemi Robinson, its Communication Director, is opening its legislative year today. She spoke glowingly of the Speaker of ECOWAS parliament, HE. Cisse Lo. The Speaker, she noted, is currently the First Deputy Speaker of the Senegalese Parliament and a very influential MP in his country.
Olukemi indicated that members of the ECOWAS Parliament are elected from among serving MPs of the legislatures of member states. The number of parliamentarians representing each member state is allotted according each country’s population.
There 19 Nigerians in the 115-strong parliament established under Article 6 and 13 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993. The Parliament, provides forum for dialogue, consultation and consensus for representatives of the people of West Africa with the aim of promoting integration.