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Reps to hold security agencies accountable

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The House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, has promised to hold security agencies accountable for every penny allocated to them to tackle the security challenges facing the country.

This is just as the House assured Nigerians across all walks of life of its readiness to address the challenges of hunger, inflation and general hardship currently bedeviling the nation.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas gave the assurance on Thursday at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja while addressing a world press conference on the state of the nation.

“In line with our legislative agenda, the 10th House is committed to the security of our nation. I can assure Nigerians that this House will hold security agencies accountable for every fund allocated to them to fight insecurity and insurgency,” he said.

The lawmaker, who represents Zaria Federal Constituency of Kaduna State, noted that the very fabric of the society is being tested and the unity of the country challenged owing to insecurity across the country.

He added that as representatives of the Nigerian people, the House cannot pay lip service to the plight of the same individuals “Who elected us into office to protect their interests. It is our resolve to see that Nigerians, wherever they are, live their normal lives in peace and relative ease.”

“We are acutely aware of the rising security challenges affecting different parts of the country. As elected representatives, we acknowledge the pain and suffering of every family that has been a victim of brutal crimes and needless violence. Let it be known that your cries have not fallen on deaf ears, and your tears have not gone unseen. We stand in solidarity with every Nigerian affected and commit to deploying robust legislative measures to empower our security agencies, ensure justice, and restore peace and order in our communities,” the Speaker said.

He added that the recent acquisition of the T-129 ATAK helicopter and the King Air 360i aircraft into the Air Force by the Federal Government is an indication of President Tinubu’s commitment “To investing in the security infrastructure of our nation. It reflects a proactive stance in adapting to the dynamic challenges of modern warfare and a commitment to providing our armed forces with the best tools to defend Nigeria and our people.”

While commending security agencies for their dedication to the task of securing the nation, the House, he added, will take measures to address identified challenges during the planned legislative security summit billed to be held in the next few weeks.

To address the economic challenges facing the nation, Abbas pledged the readiness of the National Assembly to support the executive arm in finding lasting solutions.

“I wish to reassure all Nigerians that the House will prioritise funding for programmes and initiatives to alleviate hunger and enhance security. We are fully committed to supporting policies that will stimulate our economy, provide relief, and ensure relief is felt in every home.

“In addition to promoting security so that farmers can feel safe to return to their farms, the House will support import and export policies that stabilise food prices and ensure adequate supply of essential food items at affordable rates, especially for our constituents living in rural areas. We also propose enacting legislation to enable swift government response to tackle food shortages, including emergency food aid and support for affected populations,” he assured.

The Speaker also called for unity and synergy among the three tiers of government to make governance count for the people.

The Speaker in a show of solidarity with the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, who was recently accused of underhand dealings in the scandals that swept away from Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Beta Edu, called on security agencies to probe the allegations and make their findings public.

He, however, called for stiffer sanctions for those behind the allegations in the event that nothing is found against the former Speaker.

He said, “While we encourage freedom of expression and constructive dialogue, we must also be wary of the dangers of fake news and campaigns of slander and defamation, especially against the President and senior government officials.

“There has been a rise in defamation campaigns on social media involving the deliberate dissemination of false and misleading information with the intent to harm the reputation of individuals or organisations. These campaigns often target political opponents, seeking to undermine their credibility, integrity, and public trust.

“The recent unjustified and baseless allegations against the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, point to the danger of an unfettered and unaccountable social media. Such acts not only undermine the integrity of our democracy but also erode the fabric of our national unity. Yet, Femi is just one of millions of Nigerians who suffer cyberbullying and coordinated campaigns of defamation daily. Too many victims are not as powerful as him to defend themselves.

“Those of us who have worked with him for over a decade can attest to his patriotism and integrity. His willingness to voluntarily subject himself to an investigation by all security and law enforcement agencies demonstrates his rectitude and honour. I urge the security agencies to work diligently and swiftly to investigate all matters he has raised in his letter to them and inform Nigerians of their findings. If not found guilty, these agencies must fish out those responsible for the character assassination and ensure they are brought before the law.

“It is most unfortunate that someone who has, over the years, built a reputation through dint of hard work and commitment to service, should have same damaged by unscrupulous elements. The consistent attempt to pull him down for purely political or personal reasons and without consequence is deeply deplorable,” he added.

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