Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Thursday, called on the German Government and the European Union (EU) to assist Nigeria in eliminating terrorism from the sub-region as well as the resettlement and full integration of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.
Saraki who made the call when the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck and his delegation visited the leadership of the National Assembly in Abuja, also said the visit underscores the excellent relationship between Germany and Nigeria.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President, Sanni Onogu, on hand to receive the German President were both presiding and principal officers of the two chambers of the National Assembly, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and the Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, among others.
The Senate President said that the visit of the German President to the National Assembly was a practical demonstration of the role the legislature plays in strengthening and advancing democracy in any nation.
Saraki, while welcoming the German President to the National Assembly, said: “Your Excellency’s visit would not only further cement our cordial relations but demonstrates that the international community, and in this case, that Germany, is on the same page with this Administration’s stance against terrorism and its attendant insecurity as well as the fight against corruption.
“Your visit to the National Assembly underscores the importance you attach to the role that the legislature plays and can influence in our drive to deepen our democracy, strengthen the rule of law and foster liberty and development,” he said.
Saraki who is also the Chairman of the National Assembly, said that the National Assembly would continue to support the executive in its quest to provide a better life for the people and most especially in the fight against corruption and commitment to economic diversification.
He said the National Assembly will not only make new laws but will amend existing ones to make for secured and business-friendly environment in the country.
Saraki added: “This Assembly… shall earnestly support the Executive in its fight against corruption, terrorism and insecurity. We urge you, to use your good office as President of Germany to promote and support our efforts in this regards.
“Our country is presently experiencing the challenges of global terrorism. Notwithstanding the significant victories we have recorded, Boko Haram has continued to pose colossal national and regional security challenge.
“We have a lot to learn from Germany and to gain from stronger Nigeria-Germany relation in this regard. So we call on the German government and the EU to lend us their unflinching support and solidarity in order for us to fully eliminate terrorism from the sub region.
“I believe that every effort in this area is a paramount investment as the regional stability, security and development is tied to achieving global peace. We urge you to particularly help us return our Internally Displaced Persons back to their homes and fully reintegrate them into the society.
“Let me use this opportunity to recognize Germany’s immense contribution to the Nigeria economy so far; from construction to technology, oil and gas. The National Assembly is working hard to change our business and investment climate through several initiatives aimed at reducing the cost of doing business and the risks involved,” he said.
The German President, Joachim Gauck, who was accompanied on the visit by his wife, Ms Daniela Schadt, and other German investors, said he is particularly delighted about the peaceful elections that brought about the change of guards in Nigeria.
Gauck said Germany is ready to support the Federal Government in the ongoing fight against terrorism and corruption in the country.
“We believe that terror would not be defeated with military might alone. The Nigerian Government needs to further foster good governance and ensure the prospect of a better future for all its citizens,” Gauck said.
While saying that the country has over two million IDPs that needs support and reintegration, he said that the rebuilding of infrastructure including schools and healthcare facilities in the affected areas would go a long way to give the people a hope for better future and thus contribute in bringing an end to terrorism in the country.