Terror Attacks:’We have a real problem on our hands’,says Nigeria’s Senate President



President of the Senate, David Mark has resumed work after recuperating from his illness which took him to an Israeli hospital.Mark  who at the resumption of plenary   today thanked  Nigerians, proceeded to highlight the high level of insecurity which he said was unacceptable.

“The current level of insecurity in the country is unacceptable and something must be done to improve it and very quickly too. Clearly, the terrorists have declared war on Nigeria and Nigerians. Escalating acts of terror not only threaten our unity as a nation but challenge the very human values we all believe in. In spite of all these bombings, we should not despair or be disillusioned. We shall overcome through our collective determination. This is the time for concerted action by all Nigerians; ethnicity, political affiliation, religious belief notwithstanding. We have a real problem on our hands and we must handle it with the seriousness it deserves and we should never politicise it. Divisive statements or finger pointing are not helpful. Attempts to apportion blame for failures at this time of the burgeoning terror threats will not lead to any practical and long lasting solution. The primary responsibility of tackling this challenge lies with the Government but that notwithstanding, we all have roles to play.”

He also spoke about the oversight functions of the Senate “The second issue is on oversight functions. Let me use this opportunity to state unequivocally that we must improve on our oversight functions. The inefficiency and corruption in the system, which the various investigation Committees have uncovered, could have been reasonably abated if we had carried out our oversight functions exhaustively and effectively. In the course of our oversight functions some of these incidences could have either been stopped or reduced to the barest minimum”,he said.

Furthermore ,Mark said “I may sound repetitive but I must emphasise that having gone almost six months into the year, the Committees by now should have prepared their reports for the first two quarters of the year.  In this regard, all Committees must submit their reports before our summer recess and as soon as we resume we shall take the Committee Reports in plenary.”

Read the full text of his remarks below:

 

REMARK BY HIS EXCELLENCY, SEN. (DR) DAVID A. B. MARK, GCON, THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON RESUMPTION OF PLENARY, ON TUESDAY, 08TH MAY, 2012.

Protocol:

I am happy to be back. Let me first take this opportunity to most heartily and sincerely thank all of you for your prayers, phone calls, text messages and support while I was away for my medical treatment in Israel. Your prayers and those of our colleagues in the House of Representatives and all well meaning Nigerians encouraged and sustained me.

Before I forget let me also thank you for all your goodwill messages during my Birthday. It was intended to be a low-key family birthday celebration but you turned it into a national event and for that I am most grateful.

 

This short address is to provide me an opportunity to express my appreciation. It is however imperative to raise a few topical issues that concern our nation today. First is the security challenge. The current level of insecurity in the country is unacceptable and something must be done to improve it and very quickly too.

Clearly, the terrorists have declared war on Nigeria and Nigerians. Escalating acts of terror not only threaten our unity as a nation but challenge the very human values we all believe in. Inspite of all these bombings, we should not despair or be disillusioned. We shall overcome through our collective determination.

This is the time for concerted action by all Nigerians; ethnicity, political affiliation, religious belief notwithstanding. We have a real problem on our hands and we must handle it with the seriousness it deserves and we should never politicise it. Divisive statements or finger pointing are not helpful. Attempts to apportion blame for failures at this time of the burgeoning terror threats will not lead to any practical and long lasting solution. The primary responsibility of tackling this challenge lies with the Government but that notwithstanding, we all have roles to play.

Let me also say without mincing words that the security agencies must intensify their pre operational responsibilities, roles and actions and improve their operational capabilities. Their major task must be to thwart and prevent these bombings.

Having said this I would like to add that these misguided groups are our brothers and sisters; Government must therefore explore all avenues to discuss with them. On the other hand, those who are aggrieved must find a better way to express their grievances. It is in the national interest that there is peace and security particularly if we want the transformation agenda to succeed.

The second issue is on oversight functions. Let me use this opportunity to state unequivocally that we must improve on our oversight functions. The inefficiency and corruption in the system, which the various investigation Committees have uncovered, could have been reasonably abated if we had carried out our oversight functions exhaustively and effectively. In the course of our oversight functions some of these incidences could have either been stopped or reduced to the barest minimum.

I may sound repetitive but I must emphasise that having gone almost six months into the year, the Committees by now should have prepared their reports for the first two quarters of the year.

In this regard, all Committees must submit their reports before our summer recess and as soon as we resume we shall take the Committee Reports in plenary.

May I remind us that in the course of preparing our Committee Reports, we should look at the capital appropriation released for the first two quarters of the year and weigh it against the implementation of the capital projects.

Once more my distinguished bosses, I would like to thank you most sincerely for your support and prayers and I would like to assure Nigerians that the Senate will work tirelessly to enact laws for the peace, order and good governance of the Federation and with the fear of God. On my part, I have sworn that I will continue to ensure that there is equity, justice and fairness.

Thank you and God bless.

Senator (Dr) David A. B. Mark, GCON, fnim

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

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