“Insecurity threatens Nigeria’s foundations of nationhood”- Speaker

“Insecurity threatens Nigeria’s foundations of nationhood”- Speaker

The Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila says the current security challenges in Nigeria are a threat to the foundations of its nationhood.

The Speaker, however, noted that the Nigerian Government has responded to the challenges by taking certain measures such as increasing funding for the police and the military, recruiting personnel for security agencies, among others.

Mr. Gbajabiamila stated this in a paper titled ‘Democracy in Challenging Times: The Role of African Parliaments in Safeguarding and Delivering on the Dividends of Democracy’ presented at the School of Oriental Studies, London as part of his ongoing official visit to the UK.

Gbajabiamila said; “the most pressing of these challenges today is the national security crisis that threatens the foundations of our nationhood and portends great danger for Africa and the world if it persists.

“First, to address the present challenges and then to build resilient institutions that can withstand uncertainty in troubled times, more than anything else, our focus must remain on the young and vibrant youth of Nigeria and Africa who have so much to offer to the world and who have proven that they can thrive under challenging circumstances given half a chance.

“However, we cannot do this for as long as our present national security challenges persist.”

“The government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has responded to the reality of our present challenges by increasing funding provisions for the police and armed forces, accelerating recruitment and training to put more boots on the ground and also acquiring weapons systems designed to give the security agencies an advantage, “ the Speaker explained.

Gbajabiamila said upon the resumption of the 9th House, short, medium and long term parliamentary measures were adopted to see to the end of the challenges.

He said; “the scope of our challenges was evident, matched only by our confidence that we would do what was required to overcome those difficulties and deliver the dividends of democracy for our people.

“As a House, we understood that the best dividend of democracy is a just society, where individual rights are recognised and respected. Where citizens have the freedom to dream big dreams and the social resources and infrastructure to achieve those dreams.”

The Speaker noted that such moments create opportunities “for positive change, for righting wrongs and establishing new protocols better suited to the reality of the times than whatever existed before.”

Gbajabiamila said; “With the support of my other colleagues across the African continent, “I convened the first Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments (CoSAP) as a platform for continental parliamentary cooperation and coordination that will allow us to try to change this dynamic.

“Already, the conference is participating in a broad partnership to renegotiate the terms of our national debts and free up much-needed resources for development whilst committing to a new regime of responsible administration of public resources.”

The Nigerian House of Representatives is expected to host the inaugural in-person meeting of CoSAP this year, to establish a framework of action to ensure the achievement of the objectives that motivated this unique partnership.

PR/LW/ Mercy Chukwudiebere

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