The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to review the security architecture to urgently end wanton killings in the country.
Dogara made the call on Thursday, in Abuja, while addressing members of the house during plenary.
He decried the continuous deterioration of the country’s security situation, especially in the North East, North West and some parts of the North Central.
“Only three days ago, scores of people were killed in Sokoto State and elsewhere; hardly any week passes without reports of mass killings and bloodletting, either by terrorists or armed bandits.
“This calls for drastic, urgent and concerted action and efforts to bring the situation to a quick end as citizens are looking up to us.
“And we cannot afford to fail them because security of lives and properties is the primary purpose of government.
“It is therefore imperative for the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces to take a hard look at our national security architecture with a view to fixing the malady, in order to secure lives, national pride and prestige,” Dogara said.
The speaker said that the fight against unbridled violence was one the country could not afford to lose as it was tantamount to loosing civilisation.
Ahead of the Feb. 16 and March 2, elections, Dogara urged lawmakers to strike a good balance between commitment to legislative duties and participation in the campaigns.
He urged all political leaders to cultivate the highest level of decorum, responsibility and respect for the laws of electioneering campaigns.
`We must, through our conduct, show our commitment to the successful and peaceful conduct of the elections; and above all, the sustenance of our democracy.
“We should avoid the tendency of being hypocritical by engaging in misdeeds that we are quick to point out in our opponents.
“Let us be guided by our conscience and the teachings of our religions, which demand that we judge ourselves before judging others,’’ the speaker said.
Dogara maintained that National Assembly was proud of its efforts to guarantee successful and rancour-free conduct of the elections by passing the Electoral Act Amendment Bill for the third time after the president declined assent twice.
He said that lack of passage of the amended bill meant that the impending elections would not benefit from the innovative mechanisms crafted in its collaboration with International and Development partners.
According to him, well-meaning Nigerians and the International community foresee the possibility of manipulating the coming elections because of the gaps in the current Electoral Act.
He said there were fears that the identified loopholes in the act might become a reality if proactive steps were not taken by critical stakeholders.
Dogara said the series of serious allegations by stakeholders, corroborated by some media reports, against INEC and the Nigerian Police in recent elections, which are already subjects of litigations, were some of the factors raising uncertainties on the success of the coming polls.
He said that the intention of lawmakers to improve on the successes of the 2015 General Elections through the Amendment Bill, was very clear to all fair-minded Nigerians.
“We had intended, through this Bill, to minimise the risk to the survival of our hard-won democracy through responsive and timely legislation aimed at ensuring free, fair and transparent elections.
“Nonetheless, as Parliament, we have done our best to guarantee the stability and growth of our fragile democracy and I have no doubt that history will be very kind to us.
“Under the present circumstance, we have no choice than to take INEC and the Police by their words and give them the benefit of doubt in their recent assurances to be impartial, efficient and truthful in the conduct of the coming elections.
“This is the minimum that the country deserves from them at this auspicious time, nothing short of complete openness, a level playing ground and strict adherence to extant laws will be acceptable to Nigerians,” Dogara said. (NAN)