Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, says the challenges of insecurity confronting Nigeria is threatening its existence.
Speaking at a two-day retreat in Abuja on Thursday, Gbajabiamila said the insecurity challenge undermines the faith of the public in the government’s ability to protect lives and property.
The retreat was organised by the house committee on national security and intelligence and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) foundation.
The speaker said the citizens expect the government to fulfill its constitutional responsibility of protecting them.
“These internal security challenges threaten the very existence of the Nigerian state because they undermine public faith in the government’s ability to fulfil its fundamental obligation to protect the lives and property of citizens,” he said.
“Across the three arms of government, we have a shared responsibility to take all necessary actions to meet these challenges head-on. This is what the people who elected us rightly expect.
“National security is generally understood to be the preserve of the executive arm of government. As a result, the general public and even the political class often do not know what the legislative role in national security is or ought to be.
“This knowledge gap presents an ongoing limitation on the policy-making and oversight role of the legislature as it pertains specifically to the challenges we face in the security sector.
“Workshops such as the one we have gathered here for today are an essential tool in reversing this gap.”
Gbajabiamila said all those who follow the activities of the house under his leadership would notice that security has been a priority.
“Key followers of the house would notice that security has been a very important part of our work. It’s part of our legislative agenda. When I came in, I visited three key states affected by insecurity,” he said.
“I went to Katsina, Borno and Zamfara. We now have in our process the means of alternative funding for the security agencies. I think we should have the roles of each security agencies clearly defined.
“It’s important that we understand the separation. Anything else relies on security. That’s why when this government came in, security was one of the legs.”