Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has warned that some miscreants and criminals are taking advantage of the separationist agitations in the country to carry out their activities. The Speaker raised this alarm in his welcome address to his colleagues at Wednesday’s plenary. He 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 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.” The speaker added: “We know from experience that neither appeasement nor overwhelming violence alone will work.
We have been down this road before; we know what the consequences of inaction can be. We also know that we cannot afford to be reactionary in our approach. “This is the time to convene our best efforts to articulate a political, economic, military and policing strategy to address both the manifestations and root causes of this emerging threat. “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.” On insecurity, he said: “Insecurity remains an overwhelming threat to all our nation’s people and a hindrance that further delays the attainment of the critical development objectives necessary to put our country on the path to peaceful prosperity.”