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Omo-Agege speaks on border closure affecting Nigeria’s treaty with ECOWAS member states

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Senate Vice President Ovie Omo-Agege said on Friday in Abuja that the recent closure of Nigeria’s land borders was of national interest and of ECOWAS member states.

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that Omo-Agege announced this during a seminar organized by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), a German Foundation with the theme “The roles of parliaments in supranational communities”.

Omo-Agege, who was represented by Mr. Efe Duku, his Special Adviser on Legislative and Plenary Affairs, said Parliament agreed with President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision on the closure of the land border.

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that The Vice President of the Senate explained that non-compliance with the ECOWAS treaty provision on border management was already negatively affecting Nigeria as a nation.

“The intervention of the Vice President of the Senate here today is for the closure or better management of the borders, since today it is in our national interest.

“And, ultimately, even if they disagree, it is also of interest to ECOWAS as a region that does not violate the protocol and declares itself compassionate.

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that They do not violate the protocol and try to create insecurity by attacking citizens of the member states. Our position is clear; We support government decisions to better manage borders as of today.

“We also support government decisions to ensure that the economic benefits owed to each member state as a result of customs and import activities, which should be obtained.

“So, essentially, with respect to the resolutions reached by the ECOWAS Parliament, we believe that they should analyze the protocol very well.

“And see if recommending that Nigeria simply open the borders and reward people or nations that violate the protocol or treaty is the right path,” said Omo-Agege.

Omo-Agege said that, in line with the theme of the seminar, as part of its role in the supranational community, the ECOWAS Parliament must devise instruments to support its resolutions.

According to him, this should be implicit, particularly when it comes to member nations implementing resolutions of the subregional body and other resolutions of extra-regional organizations that affect ECOWAS countries.

In his comments, Dr. Hans-Gert Pottering, former president of the European Union, said ECOWAS could learn from the successes and experiences of the European Union.

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that Pottering urged ECOWAS member states to partner and ensure that they respected binding treaties and built strong institutions where the rule of law prevailed.

“My advice is that people should live in peace together and this is what we have in the European Union that, even when we have different opinions, we don’t fight each other.”

“The EU is based on legal systems and if there are different opinions of different institutions, or of people, it is the Court of the European Union in Luxembourg that decides.

“And this must be accepted by everyone and lawyers and judges must be objective,” said Pottering.