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Buhari laments global economic downturn, promises free election legacy to ECOWAS

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja
29 November 2022   |   3:40 am
Speaking at the opening session of the 2022 Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, the President, therefore, urged the legislature to consider its budget with diligence and bear in mind the various contributions the countries make in terms of levy.

[FILES] Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, lamented the global economic downturn causing hardship to countries in the West African sub-region.

Speaking at the opening session of the 2022 Second Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, the President, therefore, urged the legislature to consider its budget with diligence and bear in mind the various contributions the countries make in terms of levies.

Buhari commended the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Dr. Sidie Tunis, for what he described as commitment and sacrifice towards promoting regional integration as well as strengthening democracy and good governance in the sub-region.

He noted progress made by the Parliament, so far, since the inception of the 5th Legislature in March 2020.

He said: “As this Second Session of the ECOWAS Parliament will be expected to consider the Community Budget, among others, let me emphasise that the global economic downturn has deeply affected the economies of our sub-region and resulted in dire economic hardships for the citizens of the Community.

“I, therefore, urge you to perform your sacred responsibility of considering the Community budget with diligence, while bearing in mind the sacrifice of various countries in the payment of Community Levy.

“I urge you to remain conscious of the many challenges besieging the region and be sensitive to the needs of the people.”

Buhari reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to ECOWAS efforts, with the support of the nation’s partners, to keep the region peaceful, secure and politically stable.

He said in this regard, Nigeria remains committed to supporting ECOWAS to restore democratic rule in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso.

While noting that some of the countries in the region, including Nigeria, will be engaged in political activities in 2023, the President expressed his commitment to bequeath a legacy of free, fair and credible polls to West Africa.

He added: “We are convinced that the sustenance of democracy and the rule of law should remain the norm in this promising region.

“As you are aware, there will be multiple political activities in some ECOWAS Member States, including Nigeria, where general elections are due to hold in February and March 2022.”

“Let me seize this opportunity to reiterate my commitment to free, fair and transparent elections and smooth transitions. This is one legacy that I want my administration to bequeath, not only to Nigeria, but also to the region as a whole.”

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