By Maureen Okon
Parliamentarians from Niger Republic attending the 2023 Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament, have called for the lifting of sanctions on the country.
They also called for a political solution to the impasse, so as get the military junta to return the country to constitutional governance.
One of the parliamentarians, Mr Amadou Djibo presented their position while tabling the country’s 2023 Report to the parliament, on Wednesday in Abuja.
“The sanction has left the citizenry and neighboring countries that share borders with Niger in dire condition,” Djibo told the ECOWAS Parliament.
“We are here by the will of ECOWAS which do not recognise the coup and still accepts Mohamed Bazoum as the democratically elected President of Niger.
“Our plea is for this house to help in lifting the sanctions to help the people of Niger and environs to have access to their basic livelihood.
“The political situation in Niger is that there’s a military leadership, and the way to go is to address the military presence in the country so that democratic process can be restored,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the military ousted Bazoum from power in July, and detained him and members of his family.
The Interior Minister Hamadou Souley was also arrested after the coup led by Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, whom Bazoum had planned to relieve of his position as commander of the presidential guard.
NAN reports that the plea to lift sanctions was supported by Ali Ndume and Dr Balarabe Salame from Nigeria, and Saa Lamina of Sierra Leone.
They argued that lifting the sanctions would allow the masses in Niger and neighbouring countries to breath.
During Wednesday’s sitting, the parliament also received reports on the state of affairs in Benin and Guinea-Bissau.
The Guinea-Bissau report focused on the rights of women and men, indicating that the gender situation has not evolved since the 2022 country report.
On free movement of persons, goods and the right of residence and establishments, the report said it was being implemented in a minimally satisfactory manner.
It added that, this was in spite of some difficulties at border checkpoints with Guinea-Bissau, the Republic of Guinea and Senegal.
In its report, the Republic of Benin amplified the situation relating to the protection of women’s rights which President Patrice Talon’s government has addressed.
It stated that a strong commitment was shown in 2021 with the revitalisation of the National Institute for Women, responsible for promoting and respecting women’s rights.
The report further addressed issues of harassment by teachers from primary to higher institutions, adding that exemplary sanction had been imposed for such acts.
“Furthermore, the government extended its policy exemption from school fees for female students in the second cycle of secondary education in 20 municipalities out of the 77 municipals in the country.”
After deliberations, the parliament adopted the reports of the three countries during plenary presided by the 1st Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed