- Legislation key to winning fight against scourge, Saraki insists
Deji Elumoye and Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja tasked the African Parliamentary Union (APU) to develop strategies aimed at assisting various governments in confronting the menace of terrorism, banditry and other organised crimes ravaging African countries.
This is coming as the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has identified legislation as the key in the war against terrorism and other crimes in the African continent.
Buhari who is the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), made the submission while addressing the 73rd session of the Executive Committee and 41st Conference of Speakers of the National Parliaments of APU.
According to him, abuse of ease of movement of persons’ protocol across the African borders leads to proliferation of arms and has given rise to the menace of terrorism by Al Shaabab, ISIS and Boko Haram.
Buhari who said Nigeria had done a lot to fight the advancement of Boko Haram in collaboration with neighbouring countries, added that such collaboration had strengthened their armed forces as well as programmes designed to address widespread poverty, which, he said, had been identified as a major factor fueling unrest and aiding recruitment into terrorism.
“We are not unmindful of the remaining challenge of armed invaders who ransack villages and small farming communities and commit terrible acts including the cold-blooded murder of women and children.”
He commended the focus of the conference which borders on promotion of girls’ education as the antidote to early marriage, assuring that Nigeria and others were ready to consider inputs on the issue in order to enhance the status of the African girl-child.
“Educating girls increases the probability of having more women innovators, entrepreneurs and chief executive officers,” he said.
In his submission, President of the African Parliamentary Union, and Nigeria’s President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, identified proper legislation as a major component for fighting terrorism and crime in the African continent.
Saraki declared that legislation is key in fighting crime and terrorism, adding that “if you look at the developed countries, it is through legislation that they have stayed on top of these issues”.
According to him, “Africa’s problems require African solutions. Collective effort is needed. We must therefore ask ourselves as legislators: what role are we playing? How have we supported the Executive in dealing with these matters?”.
He further said legislators need to do more to share ideas and work together to devise new and effective strategies for addressing the many challenges facing the continent.
According to him, “It is clear that, in order to achieve desired outcomes in the fight against terrorism and pursue growth and development, we must adopt both regional and Africa-wide strategies”.