The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, says there is no difference between secessionists in the South-West and South-East and Boko Haram terrorists.
Gbajabiamila said this in his speech on resumption of the House of Representatives from the 2021 annual legislative recess on Wednesday, The PUNCH reports.
The Speaker expressed concerns over the growing insecurity in the country and assured Nigerians that the National Assembly was prepared to assist the relevant government and security agencies to tackle the scourge.
Gbajabiamila said, “We must now add to these concerns an emerging threat that presents the same clear and present danger.
“In the South of Nigeria, East and West, miscreants and criminals masquerading as ‘separationist activists’ have emerged to wreak havoc, take lives and commit economic sabotage against fellow Nigerians and against the state.
“These people, in their inclination for devastating violence against fellow citizens, their appetite for the destruction of private property, their disruption of academic activities, commerce, and industry, their propensity for defiling institutions of the state, society and community, their refusal to engage in debate, or to consider the possibility of dissenting opinions and alternative viewpoints, are no different from Boko Haram and ISWAP.
“Given space and time, they will take our nation down the same path of destruction. Thus far, we have rightly focused our national security concerns on the machinations of extremist insurgents who seek to remake our world in the image of their discredited theocracy and bandits who maraud and terrorise whole regions for profit.”
The Speaker said it was time to convene best efforts to articulate political, economic, military and policing strategies to address both the manifestations and root causes of the emerging threat.
He said, “Let nobody be under the impression that there is a political opportunity in exploiting this moment.
“This is a time for statesmen to act beyond the petty considerations of politics, to do the hard things and achieve greatness.”