Abuja – The Senate President, Sen. David Mark, has assured Nigerians that in spite of the challenges of nationhood, including threats to security, Nigeria will remain united and unbreakable.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Paul Mumeh, in Abuja on Friday quoted Mark in his goodwill message to the nation on the occasion of its 51st independence anniversary as urging Nigerians “not to despair, because there will be light at the end of the tunnel”.
He listed measures being adopted by government to address the security challenges to include massive recruitment and regular training of security operatives, adequate appropriation to agencies, enlightenment and community participation in surveillance activities.
Mark admitted the challenges of insecurity facing the nation, saying it was “an unfortunate phase in our nationhood, which we must collectively rise to surmount”.
“We had the unfortunate experience of more than 30-month old fratricidal civil war, fought with much hate and bitterness, but by sheer providence, we came out of it and picked our pieces.
“It is a sad commentary we hate to remember. But this fresh security challenge, largely fuelled by aggrieved youths and some extremists, is one trouble too many.
“We can only appeal to the conscience of the aggrieved to sheathe their swords, embrace dialogue, so that we can all find a common solution to our common problem,rather than resort to violence.
“Destruction of lives and property or venting anger on fellow citizens or foreigners can only aggravate the situation and further distance us from the solution.
“Whatever the anger or misgivings, dialogue and resort to defined channels of communication remain the best option.”
Mark was, however, pleased that majority of Nigerians abhored violence, but stressed that Nigerians must do more to “reignite the African spirit of being our brothers’ keepers”.
He said Nigeria was blessed with men and women of uncommon potential, coupled with abundant mineral resources.
“We all may not be good artists, doctors, lawyers, engineers or great writers, but we can collaborate and harness our potential for the good of all.
“All we need do as a people is to develop where we have comparative advantage over others, so that we can build an egalitarian society, a prosperous nation, where no one or group will feel cheated or marginalised.”
Mark promised that the National Assembly would continue to enact appropriate legislations that would engender peace, progress and development in all ramifications.
“We shall continue to stand on a solid foundation of truth, honesty and fairness in the discharge of our duties.
“Henceforth, the National Assembly will be unkind to any ministry, department and agency that fail to comply with Appropriation Acts.
“We can no longer accept a situation where we pass annual budgets that fall short of expected standard of implementation.”
He urged Nigerians to show understanding and cooperate with the nation’s leaders, and avoid cynicism and unwarranted attacks which were inimical to national progress.