Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Thursday called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, to join hands with Nigeria and the International Community in the ongoing war to wipe out terrorism from the region.
Saraki who stated this in his goodwill message at the inaugural session of the 4th Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, said unless the region acts in unison to eliminate the scourge of terrorism, it would be difficult to restore full security to the region.
He commended past efforts of the parliament aimed at enhancing the socio-economic development of member nations, saying: "Our sub-region has in recent times fallen victim to terror and the activities of organized crime. The region has lost much in social and economic terms.
"Unless we act together, the objective of eliminating terrorism from our soil will be harder to achieve. The ECOWAS Parliament provides us a unique platform to advance this objective.
"Therefore, it has a major role to play in addressing the menace of terrorism both as a coordinator of regional effort and an initiator of the right legal framework that can lead to a cohesive regional effort.
"I urge the ECOWAS Parliament to join hands with us in Nigeria and the international community to ensure that we eliminate terrorism from the region," he said.
The Senate President said though the parliament is just 16 years old, it has achieved significant strides in "nurturing the vision of our founding fathers, cementing our collective aspirations and providing us a platform for the integration process, notwithstanding the obvious limitations.
"The experiment we had with a sub-regional Parliament in West Africa, as well as the significant achievements recorded especially in the area of Parliamentary diplomacy in the Mano River area, the Ivorian conflict and the Guinea Bissau crises are all testimonies of the critical moderating role that the parliament is capable of providing," he said.
He however told the ECOWAS Parliamentarians that the Nigerian National Assembly believes that a Parliament should embody the vision of a secure and prosperous people and necessarily make laws and conduct oversight functions to ensure that such vision is ultimately secured.
He said while the National Assembly is ready to work with the parliament to achieve its objective, it needs the sincerity of purpose and full commitment to the vision of the ECOWAS Parliament.