By John Okeke
Members of the 4th Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament have called for a drafting of a Draft Parliament Rules of Procedure before the commencement of the 5th Legislature.
The MPs spoke on Friday in Banjul, Gambia at the ECOWAS Parliamentary Seminar.
The Seminar saw the presentation of an Evaluation Report by a Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant, Mr Urok Una, which looked at areas where the parliament will be needing some improvements.
The MPs, while intervening on the report, held that the Parliament had so far carried out its processes on illegality due to its failure to operate with a Draft Parliament Rules of Procedure as contained in the ECOWAS Supplementary Act.
In his contributions, an MP from Ghana, John Ayariga noted that the Draft rule of Procedure ought to be handed to a Legislature during its inauguration to guide their activities on the floor of the parliament through out its tenure.
“At the inauguration of the Legislature is when the Rule of Procedure should be adopted. It is in the Supplementary Act. So if we want to correct it, it means that here in the Gambia we must put together a team to come out with some draft Rules of Procedure, so that when we convene at the inaugural session of the 5th Legislature, we have some working draft to be considered and adopted. This will give us some credibility; otherwise we will be perpetuating more illegality”.
The Members of Parliament also showed strong displeasure with the Evaluation Report, decrying it as lacking in thoroughness.
An MP from Liberia, Clarence Massaquoi questioned the methodology used for the evaluation, citing the none inclusion of the MPs during the study.
“You realise that the consultant said he did not have the chance to speak with members of parliament because they are not resident in Abuja.
“If an evaluation is done, the conclusion of an evaluation should emanate from those being evaluated. So can we really say that the basis for your evaluation are valid? He asked.
The Secretary General of the Parliament, John Azumah, who presented the report on the activities of the 4th Legislature, assured the MPs that all their concerns will be addressed in the 5th Legislature.