We‘re the most persecuted and harassed, outgoing speaker

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has expressed concern over the future of Nigeria because of the alarming rate of insecurity across the country.

He declared that the Eighth National Assembly held the record as the most persecuted and harassed parliament in Nigeria’s history.

Dogara at the valedictory session lamented that the Eighth Assembly had been a huge success with unprecedented records set in legislative business.

He expressed appreciation to all the leaders and members of the House for the confidence reposed in him by electing him Speaker of the Eighth Assembly.

He also thanked them for the cooperation the leadership enjoyed throughout the four unbroken years he was in charge.

On the state of insecurity in the country, he stressed that it was only when a leader threw out politics and partisanship out of the window and gave full rein to the best human and material resources to confront these menacing challenges “and unites to confront this very danger that the needed progress will be seen.”

He said, “It appears we are losing the fight against violence and as if that is not bad enough, the situation is so dire that known statesmen are becoming petrified and speaking up in ways that may further rend our national fault lines.

“It is like we refused to hear the whispers and now the screams are threatening our eardrums.

“This is a national problem that we can only solve if we pull ourselves together and not apart; regardless of political persuasions or creed. The challenge is to get the leadership that throws out politics and partisanship out of the window.

“Leadership that reins in all our best human and material resources to confront these menacing challenges. Yet, instead of uniting to confront this very danger, all one hears are sermons of divisiveness and permutations for 2023 elections. I wonder daily if this is not how the bottom looks like.”

Dogara, who described the Eighth House of Representatives as the most persecuted in the history of the country, noted that but for the cooperation of members, nothing would have been achieved.

He said, “This wonderful cooperation, no doubt, enabled us to have a very stable and peaceful Eighth House of Representatives and to set records that have no parallels in our history of law-making as a nation.

“The 8th House holds the record as the most persecuted and harassed Parliament, ever in Nigeria’s history. Some of our members bear the scars of reckless deployment of institutional prerogatives.

“We witnessed sieges and invasion by state operatives. Some members suffered witch-hunts, house arrests and false accusations. We are also witnesses to barrage of uncharitable criticisms and assessments bandied on a daily basis in the media by hired mercenaries who masquerade as analysts.

“Most of these analysts are ignorant of the fact that the parliament was not designed to be an altar of praise for the Executive but a co-equal branch to serve as a check on executive power.”

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