Notable Nigerians were honoured at the celebration of ECOWAS 40 anniversary in Lome, Togo. Professor Adebayo Adedeji, Professor Anya O. Anya, Dr. Sam Ominyi Egwu, General Yakubu Gowon,Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba and high networth human capacity development expert, Mr. Victor Onyekachi Onyiriuka were among others who received the Award of African Leaders of Integrity in Togo.
In his address, the Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah lamented the establishment of the ECOWAS Parliament with an advisory mandate which intrinsically deprived the people of a voice in the traditional role of a parliament such as representation, legislation, oversight, approval of budget and statutory appointees.
Osei-Mensah who delivered the keynote address on the topic: “The Emerging Role of ECOWAS Parliament in maintaining a safe and stable West Africa Sub – Region for good governance, democracy, community integration and sustainable development” at the 10th Africa Leadership Development Conference/Awards Gala Night at the Palm Beach Hotel, Lome, Togo said: “It is part of their mission to sensitize world leaders in various positions to embrace the virtues of integrity in diverse leadership positions and to celebrate ECOWAS 40 years of existence.’’
In the programme organized by Integrity International Magazine Osei-Mensah enumerated the various challenges of the parliament to include, dual parliamentary roles of members, unelected representatives, decisions and resolutions not binding and inadequate participation in the integration process. According to him “Considering these challenges, one is not far from right to say that the ECOWAS parliament merely exists in nomenclature and not the roles it performs.”
He, however urged member nations to expedite action on the ECOWAS Draft Supplementary Act which was adopted by the Authority of Heads of States and Governments during its summit in Abuja, in December 2014 and now awaiting signature, which will eliminate the legal and operational inadequacies of the advisory mandate and enable transition from ECOWAS of States to ECOWAS of the people, thereby solving the need for citizens to have greater involvement in the integrity process.
In his remarks the cerebral Victor Onyekachi Onyiriuka thanked the organizers for this international recognition while reiterating that integrity, though a well deserved horror, is overburdened with truthfulness, uprightness, objectivity and rationally. “it is deeply embedded in individual’s cognitive repertoire”