The ECOWAS Parliament says it is committed to resolving farmer’s herder’s clash in the region.
The Secretary General of ECOWAS Parliament Mr. John Azumah stated this in an interview with Voice of Nigeria at the end of the Extra Ordinary Session of the Parliament in Dakar, Senegal.
Mr. Azumah said the regional Parliament has the capacity to resolving the recurring crisis between herdsmen and farmer’s within the region.
According to Mr.Azumah, the parliament as the representatives of the people is burdened by the issues of herdsmen and farmer’s clashes and other reports of communal violence within the community.
“The Parliament has a very big role especially the members who have the opportunity to meet with the concerned communities and to be able to explain the other side of the story.”
“So if the members of parliament up their game and constantly provide information- they constantly meet these communities that are involved in these activities,- we believe strongly that we will be able to sort or mitigate the tendencies,” Mr. Azumah reiterated.
The Secretary General of the ECOWAS Parliament observed that the body has built overtime experiences in conflict resolution as it has been involved in resolving conflicts areas such as the Mano River Union in 2012, the resolution of the Liberian civil war, and the issue of Al- Qaeda in Mali.
“We were involved again in resolving the issue in the Sierra Leonean parliament last year after the elections when there were some problems. So we have built that capacity, we have built that experience.”
“And then we believe that if we sit down and we agree as to the broad framework of how to go about the issue of herdsmen we will be able to draw the parties concerned to a table to understand the need to seize hostilities.”
“Don’t forget that they have leaders and it is only when you are able to sit with the leadership of a community that you are able to arrive at their concerns and the issues that bother them that even make them to express it in violent form.”
“So the parliament has that capacity coming from varied backgrounds having varied experiences, some of the parliamentarians having over twenty years of parliamentary experience in conflict resolution areas.”
“We believe strongly that when we start we will be able to get the necessary information and proffer solutions. What the parliament does is to make recommendations to the authorities, the implementing bodies, for them to look into the matter and resolved the issue.
“We are very convinced and positive if start we will achieve based on our past experiences and history,” he explained.
Mr. Azumah disclosed that the major highpoint of the Extra Ordinary Session of the Parliament was the resolve of the parliament to support the Authority of Heads State and Government in the implementation of the Single Currency in 2020.
“We are asking them to be very firm and resolute on the date, that the date should not be changed, as you may know, it has been changed severally and we think that they should be firm; there should be a political will that it should be done in 2020 and then for that matter, implemented,” he stated.
Mr. Azumah said the parliament would embark on sensitization of the authorities and citizens of the region on the importance of Single Currency in the Region.
The parliament called on the Authority of Heads of State and Government in the region to take firm stand to ensure the compliance with the 2020 deadline for the establishment of the ECOWAS Single Currency.