September 26, 2022

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Lawan: Insurgency, kidnapping, others remain serious threat to nation’s security

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday, lamented that insurgency, kidnapping, banditry and militancy remain a potent threat to the nation’s security.

He called on leaders to unite against criminality arising from the activities of bandits and kidnappers, as well as resist the antics of divisive elements bent on instigating inter-ethnic tensions across the country.

According to him, “Insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and militancy remain serious threats to a secured and safe Nigeria,” adding that they are challenges that require the collaborative effort of the Legislature and Executive to tackle.

He said that the Senate would ensure that the funds earmarked for the prevention and management of the COVID-19 pandemic are properly utilized.

Lawan made these assertions in his speech to welcome lawmakers back from the Christmas/New Year break.

He described the emergence of inter-tribal and inter-ethnic conflicts in some states in the South West as “worrisome” which requires the immediate intervention of political leaders.

He said: “The very recent emergence of inter-ethnic and inter-tribal conflicts in some parts of our country is worrisome.

“The Senate calls for calm. The situation also calls for leadership at all levels of government.

“Leaders must unite to fight and defeat criminality in the country. Leaders must also unite to fight any divisive and centrifugal sentiments, and tendencies,” he said.

He underscored the need for legislative interventions to douse the heightening inter-ethnic tension in the country.

He revealed that the National Assembly would collaborate with all tiers of government to find solution to the problem.

His words: “Political leaders are problem solvers. As parliamentarians we should search for possible legislations to address the issues that tend to create tensions amongst our people.

“We are going to consult and partner with all arms and tiers of governments, in our quest to finding lasting solutions to these ugly developments.”

The Senate President also appealed to Nigerians to ensure the responsible use of various social media platforms in a way that fosters unity and dissuades strife and conflict.

“Let me take the opportunity to appeal to citizens to always use the Social Media for enhancing Unity and brotherhood amongst Nigerians.

“Surely, the Social Media platforms can play very positive roles of engendering understanding amongst our diverse people,” Lawan said.

Lawan insisted that utilization of funds budgeted for the prevention and manage of the COVID-19 pandemic would be strictly monitored by the National Assembly.

He urged the Federal Government to procure vaccines only after subjecting them to appropriate scientific scrutiny by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

“Our country like many others is experiencing the Second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We, therefore, need to continue to treat the situation as a National Emergency.

“The National Assembly made special provisions in the 2020 Budget, which runs up to 31st March 2021, and the 2021 Budget as well. We need to ensure that the funds are properly utilised for the prevention and management of the pandemic.

“It is equally important for the Senate to engage with Executive arm of Government on the selection, procurement, distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccines.

“We must ensure that the selection of the vaccine for our people follows the appropriate and due scientific process, with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) giving approval only after exhaustive tests before the final selection and approval.

“We must ensure that the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) responsible for this exercise develop verifiable processes and timelines on how Nigerians would be vaccinated,” Lawan said.
[2/9, 15:26] : He also spoke on the benefits of critical legislations the Senate would consider and pass during the year.

He said: “This year, the Senate, and indeed the National Assembly has very crucial and critical legislations that need equal commitments and dedication, as the Appropriation Bill 2021.

“We are all aware that the PIB is a critical Legislation that our country needs, to enhance transparency and accountability in the Nigerian Petroleum Industry. Equally important the legislation will make the Industry more competitive and therefore attract more investments.
[2/9, 15:27] : “There is no gainsaying the fact that increase in investments will boost our revenues from oil and gas. The PIB is going to create an All-Winners environment. This will also bolster our economy for the benefit of all.”

He said that the Senate Joint Committee working on the PIB would conclude its work before the end of March.

He expressed optimism that the report of the Committee would be considered by the National Assembly before the end of April this year.

On the Electoral Act and Review of the 1999 Constitution, he said, “the amendment to the Electoral Act 2016 is crucial to improving the integrity, transparency and confidence of citizens in our electoral processes.

“Our Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been working assiduously with its counterpart in the House of Representatives to ensure that the Bill is giving the necessary scrutiny. We will endeavour to complete the Legislative process before the end of the second quarter of this year.

“The Review of the 1999 Constitution is another legislative intervention that the Senate is equally committed to.

“There are many issues that Nigerians have built consensus on and require Constitutional amendments, in order to engender unity of our people and efficiency in governance.

“Our Judiciary also needs some legislative interventions to improve on its service to Nigerians. The Senate Committee on the Review of the Constitution has been working to ensure that the necessary legislative processes are completed very soon.”

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