The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has said the federal government has failed in its primary responsibility of protecting citizens lives and property.
Gbajabiamila stated at the plenary on Wednesday while delivering his speech as lawmakers resume for the 2021 legislative session.
He pointed categorically that “from the abundance of the failures has emerged a culture of self-help in matters of internal security that portends grave danger for the nation’s continued existence.”
He said the actual test of government is measured by its potential to protect its citizens and that it is difficult to separate the objective of economic prosperity from the yearning to ensure that the masses live in a safe society and defended by a justice system built on fairness and the rule of law.
The speaker, therefore, stated that the House would promptly begin examining Bills to enhance the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, and also follow it up with a long-overdue review of the Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement And Administration Act and other legislation that seek to deliver a justice system that works for all.
He started thus: “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. With these words, the constitution obligates all of us who swear to serve in government to do everything to protect the lives and property of all citizens and promote their well-being above all else.
“This obligation is central to the governing contract between the government and the citizenry. Every time a citizen going about their business is killed or kidnapped, loses their property or livelihood, we have failed in our obligation.
“From the abundance of these failures has emerged a culture of self-help in matters of internal security that portends grave danger for our nation’s continued existence.”
He emphasised that it was time to put aside partisan politics, nepotism and tribalism and join the effort to defeat the challenges of insurgency and banditry, communal violence, and the violent struggle over land.
Gbajabiamila said: “Here in the National Assembly, we do not command any armies or control the police. Command and control of our nation’s security infrastructure is an exclusively executive responsibility. Yet it is to us that our constituents look to when the forces of darkness descend to disrupt their lives, often irreparably.
“We have to reconcile the obligations we owe to our people with the constitutional limitations under which we operate. But we will not shrink from our role as advocates for the forgotten voices, and we will continue to exercise the appropriation and oversight authority vested in us to hold to account those who bear direct responsibility for the protection of all our nation’s people.”
Gbajabiamila added that the House in the 2021 legislative year, would give more interest on bills and motions that will expand ease of doing business and open economic potential by stripping away restrictive regulation and putting to an end predatory regulatory practices which deprive young people the chance to conquer new frontiers.
He, therefore, stated that the government would not stake implementing policies that sstopthe ability of the nation to participate in new markets and profit from emerging industries in this technological age.