In a significant development, Hon. Mohamed Bangura and Hon. Emerson Lamina, prominent figures in Sierra Leone’s political landscape, are set to be sworn in as the newest members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament.
Hon. Bangura is stepping into the role, replacing Hon. Chernor Ramadan Maju Bah, who had an illustrious tenure as the Head of Delegation and APC Parliamentary leader, serving three terms.
Meanwhile, Hon. Emerson Lamina, the former Coalition for Change (C4C) parliamentary leader and Mayor of Koidu City, who switched allegiance to the SLPP, will fill the shoes of Hon. Ajibola Manley-Spaine, a respected lawyer and lawmaker with three terms in the Sierra Leone National Assembly.
Notably, Hon. Bangura’s decision to diverge from his party’s stance of boycotting governance following a disputed June 2023 general election outcome has stirred both internal party scrutiny and applause from others who view it as a courageous move.
As one of just two members of his party in Parliament, Hon. Bangura has assumed a prominent role across various parliamentary committees, including chairing the Sixth Parliament of Sierra Leone’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and being a member of the Selection, Supervisory, Appointment, and Public Service Committees.
The news of Hon. Bangura’s addition to the ECOWAS Parliament comes on the heels of his return from the 78th United Nations General Assembly, where he was part of the Sierra Leone delegation at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Accompanying him were other notable members of the delegation, including Hon. Veronica Kadie Sesay, former President of the Parliamentary Female Caucus, deputized by Hon. Shiaka Sama, who also defected to the governing SLPP. The delegation also included the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis.
In the coming days, the ECOWAS Parliament is scheduled to convene an essential seminar in Winneba, Ghana, from September 29 to October 1, focusing on unconstitutional regime changes in West Africa. This will be followed by the Second Ordinary Session of the Community Parliament from October 3 to 7, during which newly elected MPs will take their oaths of office.
A pivotal agenda item for this extraordinary session is the examination and adoption of the 2024 draft budget, with a specific emphasis on addressing deficiencies in levy payments by member states. Stay tuned for more updates on this critical regional assembly.