The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila has expressed frustration over the handicap of the House to take decisive action on the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria.
The Speaker’s position was contained in his remark at the resumption of the House’s plenary on Tuesday in relation to the tribal clashes in the Shasha area of Ibadan, Oyo State which according to him led to the “death of [Nigerian]citizens.”
“Honourable colleagues, the House of Representatives has neither command nor control of the country’s security apparatus. We cannot act to deploy men and equipment to gather intelligence, enforce laws fairly, and take all other actions necessary to prevent the breakdown of law and order and the wanton violence that follows in its wake,” the Speaker lamented.
Gbajabiamila, expressed his sympathy to the family of the victims of the crises and to the people and government of Oyo State at large stating that the House will adopt legislative intervention to ensure that the police unravels the root cause of the crises in order to stop further escalation of the crises.
“On behalf of the House, I commiserate with the families of those who lost their lives in this most unfortunate incident. And I commiserate too with the government and good people of Oyo State. I assure all Nigerians that the House of Representatives will work, within the powers available to us, to prevent reoccurrence of similar incidents, not just in Oyo State, but across our country – North, West, East and South,” he stated.
Speaking on possible solutions to the problem, the Speaker called on “the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to conduct a speedy and thorough investigation into the recent violence in Oyo State, to allow for prosecution and punishment of those who instigated and participated in the killings and destruction of property. The Committees on Police Affairs and Justice are mandated to communicate the House’s position to the Inspector General of Police.”
He also called on opinion leaders across Nigeria to preach peace and moderate what they say to avoid inciting Nigerians against one another.
“I urge all of those who have large followership of people who listen to them and respect their voices, to be more circumspect about the information they share, the language they use, and the conversations they enable. The words we use about each other can have outsize consequences on our nation’s peace and stability because words have the power to build and also to destroy,” the Speaker said.