Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has asked the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to fish out those responsible for the violent clash which claimed lives and property in Ibadan at the weekend.
The Speaker also warned against the use of inflammatory statements by Nigerians saying the words used against each other’s have the capacity to inflame passion and lead to dire consequences.
He said “last week, I spoke about the rising spate of insecurity and conflict across the country. Shortly after, and throughout the weekend, the warnings about the dangers we face manifested in Ibadan, Oyo State of Nigeria where an explosion of violence led to citizens’ death and the loss of hard-earned property.
“I assure all Nigerians that the House of Representatives will work, within the powers available to us, to prevent reoccurrence of similar incidents, not just in Oyo State, but across our country – North, West, East and South.
“The House of Representatives has neither command nor control of the country’s security apparatus. We cannot act to deploy men and equipment to gather intelligence, enforce laws fairly, and take all other actions necessary to prevent the breakdown of law and order and the wanton violence that follows in its wake.
“However, the House is a microcosm of our beloved country, and here in this chamber, we represent every tribe and region, creed, and religion. And we owe a duty to the people we serve, to do the things we believe sincerely in our hearts can improve the circumstances of their lives.
“Today, we serve that duty by calling on the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to conduct a speedy and thorough investigation into the recent violence in Oyo State, to allow for prosecution and punishment of those who instigated and participated in the killings and destruction of property.
“The Committees on Police Affairs and Justice are mandated to communicate the House’s position to the Inspector General of Police.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has announced a Committee led by the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Babagana Monguno to hold peace and unity consultations across the country. The Committee will engage Governors, traditional rulers, religious leaders, security agencies, indigenous and settled groups across the states of the Federation to enact resolutions aimed at building an honourable peace in our land.
“The House of Representatives aligns with this initiative, and we will constitute a working group to participate in these consultations. We will work together to examine the cultural, religious, and localised conflicts over land and history that are often at the root of internal security challenges and violent upheavals such as occurred in Oyo state last week and other parts of the country over the years.”
The Speaker appealed to Nigerians especially those with “large followership of people who listen to them and respect their voices, to be more circumspect about the information they share, the language they use, and the conversations they enable. The words we use about each other can have outsize consequences on our nation’s peace and stability because words have the power to build and also to destroy.
“And to political leaders, let me reiterate that we have a greater responsibility to keep the peace in our country. And to do that, we must first commit ourselves to the cause of equal justice and fair treatment for all. Only then, can we wage peace with resolve, secure in the knowledge that with peace, a more prosperous union is within reach.”