President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the nation’s assembly to join the presidency to do everything within their powers to end insecurity in the country and bring perpetrators of criminal activities to book.
The President spoke on Tuesday at a dinner with members of the National Assembly held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.
He said; ‘‘Insecurity, manifesting as insurgencies, banditry, kidnapping and urban crime of all sorts is the single most difficult challenge we face today.’’
He expressed concern that insecurity had inhibited government’s ability to build infrastructure, provide the much needed social services to the people, and to attract investments that drive innovation, create industries, and provide jobs.
“Some of the people who perpetuate these various manifestations of insecurity do so for profit, others, in the name of discredited ideologies.
“Whatever their motivations may be, their actions are an existential threat to our country.
“In the circumstances, we must do everything within our powers, without consideration of distractions, to put an end to their activities and bring them to book.
‘‘We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from this objective, or waver in our commitment, and I am confident that together we will triumph in our present efforts,’’ he said.
President Buhari also extolled the 9th Assembly for effective discharge of their legislative duties and referring them as ‘‘full partners in national development.’’
The President commended the opposition parties for their unalloyed commitment to democratic governance in Nigeria.
‘‘Our ability to govern in the best interests of the Nigerian people depends to a great deal on effective collaboration and partnership between the Legislature and the Executive.
“The obligation to check and balance each other is not an invitation to conflict, and it should not be characterised by quarrelsome disagreement when consultation, engagements and compromise have proven time and again to be a more effective approach.
‘‘In the 9th Assembly, you have distinguished yourselves by your conduct in office, by the scale and quality of your legislative interventions, and by your capacity for engaging with the difficult questions facing the country with maturity and competence,’’ he said.
Legislative accomplishments of the 9th assembly the President listed include: budget cycle of January to December, amendment of Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), Nigeria Police Act, Finance Act and Deep Offshore Production Sharing Contract Act.
Also commending the leadership of the National Assembly under Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila on their dedication, he said;
‘You have also succeeded in overcoming the political and other obstacles that have, for two decades, inhibited the much-needed reforms of our Oil and Gas industry, resulting now in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
‘‘I congratulate you all, and thank you for your contributions to the difficult, yet necessary task of nation building.’’
The President pointed out that the executive and legislature came into office at a time of significant challenges for the country.
‘‘Overcoming these challenges require that we finally confront long ignored questions of economics, politics, law and history that are often at the root of our national problems.
‘‘This moment in history requires us to make hard choices, take difficult decisions and act with diligence and patriotism to ensure that our country can survive and thrive long after we have all left.
“What this means in effect is that our jobs will not get any easier. However, the objectives we seek, and will work together to achieve, deserve our best efforts regardless the sacrifice,’’ he said.
In reference to end of the second legislative year of the 9th Assembly, President Buhari said that it was appropriate to jointly review shared commitments, to identify what has been achieved, and what is still left undone.
‘‘This way, we can prioritise activities and allocate the resources necessary to ensure that in the lifetime of this Assembly, and of the administration, we can complete the work we have started, and leave behind a record of achievement that will stand all of us in good stead in the assessment of history.”
The President urged for continued collaboration and partnership between the Executive and Legislative arms of government, to achieve a shared vision of a peaceful and prosperous country.