More Security Changes Coming, Says Jonathan
26 Jun 2012: John Abba Ogbodo and Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh
President Goodluck Jonathan has said that utterances by some politicians have threatened national security. He made the observation in Uyo while opening a Senate Retreat holding at Le Meridian Hotel and Golf Resort, in Akwa Ibom State.
The theme of the retreat is, “The National Assembly and National Security: Securing the future for development.” The President who had commissioned the administrative block at the Ibom International Airport, E-Library and the dualised Aka-Nung Udoe Road, stressed that the cooperation of the National Assembly was needed to fight terrorism.
He urged the National assembly to review the country’s laws on terrorism.
He said more security changes were in the pipeline as well as other measures to secure the country’s borders. “I seek the support of the National Assembly, whatsoever is the cause of the problem we are facing now, the solution lies upon a stronger union,” he said. “If God did not wish we will not be the leaders today, our unity is the will of God and our diversity is divine, let us unite to defeat the forces of darkness.”
Senate President David Mark said the major problem of Nigeria today was that of Boko Haram. He said the reasons adduced for the insurgency were being addressed by government through measures like opening schools for the almajiri, wondering why the government should not be given a chance. Mark, who accused Muslim teachers of inciting most of their adherents to do harm, whereas both the Bible and the Koran abhor murder.
He called on government to arrest preachers who misdirect their adherents. He suggested that government should licence preachers so that those that teach what is not in the Bible or Koran be arrested to face the law. Mark wondered why northerners who have been yearning for development should allow their territory to suffer at the hands of hoodlums called Boko Haram.
He noted that the nefarious activities of Boko Haram have led to mass movement on regional basis, thus promoting ethnic-religious conflict. He said: “The elders in the North I ask, can they stop this menace, and if they cannot, let them say so. Are the elders saying they don’t know what is happening? I call on them to come out and be bold to say so, Nigeria has to be one for other Nigerians to exist. The northern states have to think properly before we allow what Boko Haram is doing bring the North to its knees, if it is allowed to continue, it may encourage disunity and religious war, God forbid. The action of Boko Haram is scaring away investors from the North. Akwa Ibom, Rivers or any state in the West will not wait for Sokoto, Kaduna to meet them in the area of development.”
He said government should not give in to the antics of the sect, as doing so would give them the impression that they have succeeded in their plans to disintegrate the country. “Government programme should continue as designed, if Mr. President is to visit Bornu, Kaduna or any part of the country, he must not stop just because the terrorists have sent him a threat message, if the President stops, the terrorists would claim to have succeeded,” Mark stated.
He said Nigeria should not be ashamed to partner with the Western world to tackle the problem of Boko Haram, noting that, even the developed world cooperate in this direction. The government, he stressed, was not against dialogue, calling on those behind the Boko Haram activities to come out for talks. He assured that they would not be arrested by security agents.