In his contribution to the adjournment debate on ECOWAS protocols in June 2003, Sidia Jatta, Member for Wuli West said for the interest of the National Assembly, he will move from ‘national affairs to super national affairs’.
According to Jatta both ECOWAS revised treaties were ratified when some of the National Assembly Members were not members.
He explained that the ECOWAS Parliament is making a big move in sensitising the population of the sub region of what the whole ECOWAS regional block is about.
He stated that in his view, the National Assembly is a precious ground to start that sensitisation, since in the final analysis, it is their responsibility to sensitise the population about ECOWAS.
Sidia said they are paying towards maintaining ECOWAS and in the final analysis; it is the people who are going to elect ECOWAS Parliamentarians, like how they are elected in member countries.
He pointed out that ECOWAS was created in May 1975 by a treaty called the Lagos Treaty. Why ECOWAS? Sidia asked.
Read More: At the National Assembly in 2003
He said the fundamental objective of the founding fathers is to create ‘collective self-reliance’ given the fact that the countries are emerging nations from colonialism, and that they had a dilapidated economy and cannot constitute markets in their own way.
According to Sidia the ECOWAS sub region can collectively constitute a viable market, not only that, but it can become a formidable policy for economic forces. He said that is why when people talk about alien ID Cards here, it makes him laugh.
He stressed that they must know that they ratified documents in the National Assembly like the ECOWAS Protocol.
He explained that in those protocols, the right to residency and establishment is well stated.
“This would make it possible for a Liberian to come and reside here as if he/she were here according to the protocol,” said Sidia.
But surprisingly enough he said, in this year’s budget, a measure has been introduced known as alien ID card costing about D1000.00 for ECOWAS citizens. He said that is contrary to the ECOWAS Protocol, which stipulated that “you can go to Nigeria and reside there for 90 days without anybody asking you for anything.”