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ECOWAS Parliament elects first female speaker

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The sixth legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament holding in Kano Northwest Nigeria, has on Thursday elected Togolese lawmaker Maimounatou Ibrahima as the first female speaker of the Parliament.

Maimounatiou Ibrahima was unanimously elected at the Thursday plenary succeeding senator Barau Jibril of Nigeria who led the Parliament on acting capacity.

She will now stair the affairs of the ECOWAS Parliament for a four year term starting from 2024 to 2028.

Shorty after her election, which was celebrated by fellow female parliamentarians who broke into solidarity songs, Senator Jibrin, who is also the First Deputy Speaker of the legislature, handed over the symbols of the parliament’s authority to Hajiya Maimounatou.

In her acceptance speech, the new speaker said she was excited over her election, promising to initiate far-reaching reforms that would enhance the work of the ECOWAS parliament in order to achieve its mandate.

“Our responsibilities are heavy and we must work together in an intelligent and vigourous. We must make the parliament efficient in order to serve our people well. We would come up with rules and ethics of conduct for our people to have confidence in the parliament,” she said.

The Speaker also noted that the ECOWAS sub-region has been beset by numerous political, and security challenges as well as high unemployment, climate change and the resurgence of terrorism in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

She said the parliament’s resolve to raise a mediation committee to interface with the aggrieved nations of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso has demonstrated brotherhood and openness in addressing the issues that caused the exit of the three countries from the ECOWAS.

Hajiya Maimounatou explained that the Parliament would initiate other reforms including developing the skills of women and youths as a step to tackle radicalisation.

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