By Ifeanyi Nwoko
Members of the ECOWAS Parliament on Friday paid their last respect to a deceased Togolese colleague, Andre Ablom Johnson.
Johnson, who died on Nov. 14 at the age of 72, was the 3rd Vice President of the Togolese Parliament.
The lawmakers led by Speaker, Sidie Mohammed Tunis, were joined members of Togo’s National Assembly and other government officials at a ceremony at the Togolese National Assembly complex to bid late Johnson farewell.
Speaking with newsmen after the official funeral ceremony, Speaker Tunis said that he led members to the funeral to honour their colleague who he described as a man of the people.
He said that although an unfortunate event, the presence of Parliament in Togo, presented an ample opportunity to physically commiserate with the family of their late ‘brother’, Johnson.
“It is always a sad event to lose a loved one. Hon. Ablom was not just a member of ECOWAS Parliament, he was also a brother.
“So now that we are in Lome, Togo and this unfortunate incidence has happened, we believe it is our responsibility as members of ECOWAS Parliament to participate fully in the funeral arrangements.
“Even if we were not here in Lome, we were still going to send a delegation to Togo to pay a tribute to the family and console them.
“Our presence here is a manifestation of expressing our sorrow to the bereaved family and express our condolences on behalf of the ECOWAS Parliament,” he said.
Tunis described the late lawmaker as a man who was down to earth and who respected everybody, his colleagues and staff.
“To his family: let them take heart, the almighty God knows best. In Christianity, we believe that when you die you go to heaven, and with the kind of person he was on earth, I believe we will all meet in heaven,” he said.