OrderPaperToday – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has hailed the Nigerian armed forces and stressed that the work of the military is “perhaps is the most important work that can be done in a democracy.”
The Speaker made this assertion while speaking at the Annual Conference for Nigerian Defence Attaches put together by the Chief of Defence Intelligence in Abuja on Monday.
According to Dogara, no society can survive in an environment devoid of safety, thus the need for greater investment in security.
He said: “The most important thing in Nigeria right now, even though we are practicing democracy, is not the institution of the presidency, it is not the legislature, it is not even the judiciary but it is law and order and national security in the sense that when there is no peace and order, there can’t be a nation and we must have Nigeria first before we can talk about a Nigerian president, a Nigerian legislature and even the judiciary.
“I want to commend the military for putting together this function and to say that being aware of our role as the first institution of our democracy, we will do everything within the confines of our powers and within available national resources, to see that we appropriate more for the peace, order and good governance of this country, because any nation which fails to invest in security will diminish. It has happened, examples are replete, so we will not fail to invest in security.
“I want to, on behalf of members of the National Assembly and indeed, Nigerians, thank the military for the work you are doing.
“It was Sir Winston Churchill who once told a generation of military officers of his time that never in the history of human conflict had so much been owed by so many to so few. May you truly be the few that so many of us will owe so much to.”
On the security challenges the country is currently grappling with, Dogara opined that effective intelligence gathering is key in addressing such problems.
He said: “I believe that if we succeed in gathering effective and reliable intelligence that can be interpreted, we will always be ahead of the terrorists, of the kidnappers, and of all those who are threatening our peaceful coexistence.
“I have always maintained that terrorism is a global problem, and therefore, no single nation, no one nation should be left alone to deal with it. And I believe that the best way we can go about it is what we are doing here; in conferences like this, building networks, effective networks, engaging with ourselves, sharing experience, that is the only way we can be ahead.”
Speaking further, Dogara charged the military not to rest on its oars in the fight against insecurity, warning that violence has the capacity to destroy civilizations.
“I have always used the theatre of conflict in Nigeria, the North-East, as an example. Virtually everything we have achieved in that region, especially in the three states that are most affected, is completely gone.
“So, what should be our response to violence because this is a generation that is called upon to defeat violence, otherwise, violence will defeat us and reverse our civilisation as it has happened in the North-East,” he submitted.