ECOWAS Parliament Speaker in Guinea, urges parliamentarians to tackle youths unemployment, others

By John Okeke

The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament , Sidie Mohamed Tunis has called on the lawmakers of the Republic of Guinea to ensure in their deliberations the formulation of laws geared towards tackling unemployment in the country.

He made the call during the occasion of the solemn opening of the First Ordinary Session of the Parliament of the Republic of Guinea.

He said the issues of youths unemployment should not be swept away under the cupboard.

He revealed that a good number of youths have died in search of greener pasture abroad .

“I am hopeful that during this ordinary session, the laws you formulate will seek equity and fairness for all, most especially the younger generation. The issues of unemployment, especially amongst young people should no longer be accepted. This problem is usually exploited by terrorist and militant groups who conscript our youths for little or nothing and use them to perpetrate harm on our communities. Furthermore, a good number of our youths have had to risk travelling across risky waters in search of greener pastures in Europe, some of whom, unfortunately, met their untimely death. It is time that we stop folding our hands and watch these happen. We must secure a future for our younger generation as no excuse will be adequate enough to compensate for our failure to do so. Young people have aspirations, they want to work, they want to have a future – and it is our job to let them achieve this,”

H said , ” I am also expectant that the vulnerable population will be wholesomely considered in your deliberations. COVID 19 has had its own toll on economies around our region and the world at large. Lower incomes and rising poverty are some of the expected consequences of a post COVID 19 period. I am confident that this Assembly will do all in its powers to tackle these challenges, fight poverty, and make a difference for the citizens, especially the vulnerable population. Access to education, healthy food and a loving and peaceful environment are among the challenges you must face. You can only meet these challenges and play your part by firstly engaging in a broader dialogue with all stake holders and being fully representative of the people you serve.”

“I am convinced, that if we close the gaps between the rich and the poor, the ECOWAS Region will emerge stronger and better for everyone,” he said.

Commenting on the forthcoming presidential, he said,” Mr. President, Honorable Members,
Permit me to acknowledge that there currently exists rising fears of political unrest in the buildup to the presidential elections. These fears are triggered by claims and counter claims from different sides of the divide. At the moment, the most important issue at stake is the peace and stability of the Republic of Guinea. Political differences are unique to any democracy, but they must not degenerate into disruption of public order, incitement to revolt and violence, as well as disregard for the rule of law.

“I wish to reemphasize ECOWAS’ position, calling on all sides to refrain from violence and engage in a frank dialogue. Violence is not a way forward in a democratic political process and it should be discouraged on all sides of the political spectrum. I hope all authorities will see an inclusive dialogue as the way forward and engage the political process with a sober reflection of the past,” he said.

He continued,” the Republic of Guinea has had its fair share of violence, attacks on harmless civilians, and political tension. This is not the Guinea the founders envisioned. This is not the Guinea we want now and certainly not the Guinea we want for our children. A threat to Guinea’s peace is a threat to regional peace. Remember the African proverb that says “You cannot sleep in peace when your neighbor’s house is on fire”. We must do all we can to keep Guinea peaceful, stable and prosperous.

“The ECOWAS Parliament, with its rich experience of mediation, stands ready to provide valuable assistance to help this Assembly in particular and the people of Guinea in general, engage meaningfully in the ensuing dialogues surrounding the perceived tension,” he said.

He added, ” there is no doubt that this Republic has the power and capacity to achieve greatness. The people want real reforms and good laws and expect that their representatives in government structures, both nationally and regionally, will work to achieve this greatness. They have elected us into office because they trust that we will meet their aspirations. Let’s not betray that trust. Let’s harness the courage and confidence we need to make the change our people so desire. Let’s generate faith over fear and work together as one people. True to your motto of “Work, Justice, Solidarity”, I admonish you to work together, securing justice for every citizen, especially the vulnerable and express solidarity at every level of the society.”

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