By Lizzy Okoji
Some members the ECOWAS Parliament have called for concerted efforts by West African member states and the Authority of Heads of State and Government to tackle the growing insecurity in Nigeria.
The ECOWAS members of Parliament gave the recommendations on Thursday in Abuja following the presentation of a Country Report of the Nigerian delegation highlighting the spate of insecurity across the country.
According to the parliamentarians, Nigeria holds a significant position in the sub-region and the growing insecurity and communal clashes in the country has the capacity to impact negatively on neighbouring countries.
Hon. Shaka Sama, an Independent Representative from Sierra-Leone lamented the increasing level of insecurity across the region as presented by most member states in their reports.
Sama noted that it would be difficult to sustain economic development in the region given the worrisome level of insecurity in the area.
“We have to mobilise concerted efforts of all ECOWAS institutions, the Authority of Heads of State and Government to look at the factors responsible for the security challenges and how to end them.
“Nigeria is very strategic to the sub-region and concerted efforts to end Nigeria’s insecurity will help tackle the insecurity in other countries of the region.
“A threat to peace and stability in a place is also a threat to peace and stability everywhere.
“We have to work together as a region to stop this problem because a lot of countries in the West are benefiting from our insecurity,” Sama said.
Similarly, Hon. Califa Seidi, a representative from Guinea Bissau said if Nigeria, the biggest country in the region could security challenge of the prevailing magnitude, then it meant the region was truly not safe.
Seidi, therefore, urged ECOWAS institutions to do what must be done to tackle the challenge.
“It is important for ECOWAS to collaborate, particularly the Authority of Heads of State and Government … to adopt effective measures to tackle the menace.
“It has become a concern for us all Member States and we have to give serious thought to it because our citizens are dying and it is impacting negatively on our economy,” Seidi said.
Hon. Sani Boucary, Third deputy Speaker and representative from Niger Republic, lauded Nigeria and it’s armed forces for being at the forefront of interventions across the region.
Boucary also commended Nigeria for the leading role it is playing to ensure political stability in the region.
He said all recommendations made would be duly noted and transmitted to the appropriate authorities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that earlier, while presenting its country report, the Nigerian delegation said the security situation in the country was dire.
The delegation decried the spate of unfettered violence, abduction, and killings by terrorist groups, bandits, and other criminal elements.