By Lizzy Okoji
Mr Aderemi Ajibewa, a former top official of the ECOWAS Commission has urged member states to implement the bloc’s protocols of sustainable peace, democracy, and good governance in the sub-region.
Ajibewa, a former director of political affairs at the commission, gave the advice in Monrovia on Tuesday while delivering a paper at the Delocalised meeting of the Joint Committees of the ECOWAS Parliament on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and the African Peer Review Mechanism, Judicial Affairs and Human rights, Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment.
The paper had the theme “Assessment of the Impact of the Relevant Provisions of the ECOWAS Protocol of Democracy and Good on Improving Governance and Crises Prevention in Member States”.
Ajibewa said community protocols and instruments already captured the mechanisms on constitutional political governance principles that addressed governance challenges.
He observed that the implementation of the relevant protocols by member countries would mitigate the level of conflict and bad leadership in the sub-region.
Ajibewa identified over-centralisation of power, weak institutions and structures, bad leadership, military interventions and interruptions of democratic governance as some of the challenges to the implementation of some ECOWAS protocols.
“The position of governance in the ECOWAS sub-region is hinged on constitutional political governance principles that address governance challenges and guidelines for member states.
“The Supplementary Protocol (2021) provides for democratic control of the armed forces and zero tolerance for military coup d’etats and any form of unconstitutional change of power.
“The linkages between good governance and economic development is evident in good management of resources across a country’s various sectors impacts the country’s economic growth and development.
“The efficient operationalisation of the provisions of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance would provide long-lasting solutions to the challenges faced by the West African Region,” Ajibewa said.
To address some of the challenges, Ajibewa urged the ECOWAS Commission to increase engagement and partnership with civil society organisations.
He also urged the ECOWAS Commission to sensitise the military to the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocols on Democracy and Good Governance, and build the capacity of government officials.
Speaking, Hon, Ladi Ayamba, Member of Parliament from Ghana expressed regret over the the factors militating against the implementation of policies at the country level.
“We have these laws and protocols guiding us but it is sad that implementation is a problem,” Ayamba said.
Hon. Fatimatou Njai, a parliamentarian from the Gambia also said that it is time for ECOWAS to learn lessons from mistakes that have brought down some countries in other to move forward.
Njai recommended that ECOWAS bodies and institutions need to be firm on laws that retrogrades the sub-region. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)