Truth & justice

Gbajabiamila: no ethnic group should lord it over others

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has charged ethnic groups in the country to shun oppressive tendencies against other groups to end the currently raging ethnic tension in the country.

The Speaker spoke to State House Correspondents on Wednesday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the issues causing tension currently primarily premised around the farmers/herders constant conflicts could be resolved when all concerned parties agree to have sincere discussions.

He warned that attempts by one ethnic group to want to assume preeminence over others would always lead to conflicts, advising the various groups to respect the cultures and businesses of others in order to maintain peace.

He, however, informed that the National Assembly would swing into action soon as it resumes on Tuesday to start working on legislation that will take care of many of the issues breeding tension in different parts of the country.

“Everybody just has to come to the table and discuss and come to an amicable resolution, which I’m sure we will. I don’t think any ethnic group should lord it over any other ethnic group; the south-west should not lord it over the north, the north should not lord it over the south.

“We should respect each other’s trade, geographical space, history, culture and more importantly the issues of crime, murder, all those things should be completely jettisoned, but more importantly, we all have to sit on the table and discuss this matter and look for the way forward. I think everybody is willing to do that.

“From the National Assembly, solutions will come from talking. I believe that now that we are about to start work on Tuesday, I know these issues will come up and adequate and proper legislation that will address the issue frontally and in the best interest of the country, and all nations that make up the nation such legislation will be put in place,” he said.

Speaking about the recent appointment of new service chiefs, Gbajabiamila said President Buhari had taken the decision in response to the general public’s clamour, adding that the National Assembly would do its duty by supporting the new service chiefs to be successful in their responsibilities.

“That’s what everybody has been clamouring for: the House, Senate and the public. The President took his time, studied the situation very well and he did it at the right time that he thought he should do it and we are all in support of what he has done.

“We are all in this situation together. The National Assembly will not, in any way, put hurdles before the service chiefs. We will make the working environment suitable for them to be able to discharge their responsibilities very efficiently.

Speaking on the ongoing All Progressives Congress (APC) membership revalidation and registration exercise, he said “everybody should come out and register. You know registration is the beginning of an election process; the election is not a one-day event it has started already. I will encourage all party members, those who are not even party members who have not to register before, those who have attained the each of 18, those who have seen the good works of Mr. President and this party to come in and join the fold and register.

“So that come 2023 you know politics is about numbers, they can pick whoever they want to elect to represent them as a party flag bearer. Don’t forget registration serves a dual purpose, one is for primary and the second one is for elections.

You have to take ownership of the party and that is what we are asking people to do”, he said.

“Show me an alternative with cogent reasons why, then we can talk, for now, I have not seen any alternative. APC has done a lot and I want us to be very objective, but unfortunately, in life that is just how it is, if you have done 100 things and one thing probably you met on ground is not quite right yet, it has the tendency of muddling the waters and discrediting the 100 good things you have done. That is the situation we have found ourselves but we will continue to educate the public on the things we have done.

“The APC never really enjoyed propagating itself; we thought our work will speak for us. But for me I have since learnt you need to propagate yourself. Because, often when I sit down with some of the biggest critics of government and I say the party did this, this and this, they are in shock.

I think it’s time we begin to market some of the achievements of party and not allow one or two little…well, they may be fundamental, I quite agree but not let those things overshadow what we have done,” he said.

The Nation

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