Nnenna Loveth |
The Buhari-led government is not directly responsible for the insecurity in the country, Kebbi senator, Bala Na’Allah, has said.
It is for this reason, he said, that every responsible Nigerian should assist the federal government in its fight against the menace.
The lawmaker made the statement shortly after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Sunday.
He told journalists that he was on a “routine visit” to the president to discuss some issues of national importance.
His visit to the president comes days after the Senate, in a four-hour meeting, discussed insecurity in Nigeria with security chiefs.
It also comes weeks after the Senate resolved to send its leadership to meet with the president to seek ways of mitigating the security challenges bedevilling the country.
Mr Na’Allah did not say if his meeting was on behalf of the Senate.
He simply said he had a frank discussion with the president and assured Nigerians of the government’s commitment to boost security.
When asked the reason for the increasing cases of banditry across the country despite government’s efforts and investment in the fight against insecurity, the lawmaker said a society evolves with its own problems, depending on its structure.
“Let me give you an example. Boko Haram is predominantly in the Northeast, it’s a fact. Banditry is in the Northwest; you can’t say it’s not correct. These are issues that the previous injustices that we have done to ourselves, collectively and individually, are manifesting.
“It is only unfortunate that they are manifesting now when this government is in place and that is the reason why the government, having not been directly responsible for this situation, should be assisted with whatever assistance from any responsible citizen of this country to ensure that we put this behind us.
“…This country will remain one because the factors that bring the country together are stronger than the ones that seek to divide it and I think that every responsible Nigerian should understand this and give his or her own contribution to ensure that we have a very formidable and resilient country,” he said.
Responding to statement by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, with regards to the government losing justification to rule beyond 2023, Mr Na’Allah said the PDP “has equally lost every justification to say that we have not done our best in view of the fact that they brought us to where we are, having ruled the country from the beginning of democracy to where we are today.
“Politicians criss-cross from PDP to APC therefore, depending on what side of the divide they are, they find it convenient to now rundown (the) party in government, but I think that if you look critically at what is happening, you will see that the more the thing changes, the more it remains the same.
“What we need are patriotic Nigerians, with zeal and commitment, to build a viral nation. That’s what we need. Not politicians who are playing to the gallery. How can you call yourself a responsible politician in this country and ride on the platform of lies, to continue to de-market your country to the international community? It doesn’t make sense.”
The lawmaker who is a member of the Senate Committee on Electoral Matters, disclosed that progress has been made on the electoral amendment bill. The bill, currently at the committee stage, seeks to alter some parts of the Electoral Act.
Although he did not explicitly say whether or not the bill will be passed before 2023, the senator urged Nigerians to “talk to their representatives” to ensure it is passed.
“That means that every Nigerian has a responsibility to talk to his representatives in the Senate and the House, to accept the fact that he must act patriotically. He must place the nation above his party’s interest in the determination of the provisions of the Electoral Act. Once we do this, we don’t have a problem.
“I am not sure there is any Nigerian, responsible Nigerian, who is not interested in an electoral law that gives us the comfort of conducting a free, fair and credible election. These three concepts have often been misused by people who don’t know, they are distinct and distinguishable and they are mutually repellent. It is one thing for an election to be free, it is another thing for it to be fair, it is another thing for it to be credible. The yardstick for measuring the three concepts are completely different.”