Buhari To NASS Members: “Criminals Will Be Dealt With’

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President Muhammadu Buhari assured members of the National Assembly that perpetrators of criminal activities will be brought to book.

Speaking on Tuesday during a dinner with 109 Senators and 360 House of Representatives members in Abuja, Buhari vowed that available resources will be deployed to end insecurity in the country.

Buhari said insecurity, manifesting as insurgencies, banditry, kidnapping and urban crime of all sorts is the single most difficult challenge his government is facing.

He said: “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 power, 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.

Buhari commended the 9th National Assembly for their legislative actions, saying the lawmakers are “full partners in national development”.

The Nigerian leader particularly commended the minority parties in the legislature for their cooperation and support for government programmes.

He asked the two chambers to jointly review shared commitments, to identify what has been achieved, and what is still left undone following the conclusion of the second legislative year.

The president also appreciated the National Assembly leadership for “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)”.

He said: “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.

“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”.

Speaking on behalf of the National Assembly, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the purpose of the dinner was to bring together the arms of government that had worked so closely.

He noted since the beginning of the Fourth Republic in 1999, no government was so challenged by a paucity of funds and myriads of other challenges facing the country.

Lawan said although members of the National Assembly belonged to different political parties, they worked in brotherhood, standing together and ensuring that they were able to deliver when necessary.

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