Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara
Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, has called on traditional rulers and leaders of faith to be active in the upbringing of children so that they can imbibe qualities in them that will make them shun violence and other vices that stall development in the country.
Mr Dogara also called for more vigilance among family members and smaller units of the society in order to detect and act on violent tendencies among its members.
He said these at the National Assembly complex during the 3rd day of the National Assembly Open Week organised to enlighten the public on the workings of the legislature.
Mr. Dogara added that heads of families must take their role of bringing up children in a non-violent manner more seriously because every terrorist or violent act begins with a member of a family.
While maintaining that the role of the government is to secure the lives and properties of its citizens, Mr. Dogara said, “We all know that the essence of government is to secure the welfare and the security of lives and properties of our people and I believe that is where the role of our traditional institutions, leaders of faith, as represented here, should be accentuated because the truth is that behind every crime, behind every terrorism, behind every act of violence, there is a family involved.
And that, therefore, points to the way in which we raise our children these days. I haven’t seen a democratic society where the government provides everything. There is a room, there is a space for citizen’s engagement, citizen’s participation that guarantee good governance, decent society that guarantees peace so that democracy can actually take root.”
The Speaker who stressed the importance of traditional and religious leaders to the realization of violence-free society said the National Assembly is ever ready to grant legal backing to such roles for traditional rulers.
“I believe that traditional leaders and leaders of faith can contribute in the manner in which we bring up our children, to raising children in a non-violent way, teaching our families to express immediate disapproval when they witness signs of violence will help in ensuring that we have a peaceful Nigeria where we will live in unity, where development can thrive.
As the House of people, as representatives of the people, to know exactly what we can do to come up with an enabling and legal framework that guarantees the active participation of the institution of traditional ruler ship in ensuring that we have peace by which we can now harness the benefits of democracy, the benefit of the liberty that we enjoy in this democracy and even engaging the institution of our faith groups in ensuring that we have needed peace for democracy to thrive.” He said.
In their respective contributions, the traditional and religious leaders attributed most of the insecurity ravaging the country to lack of constitutional role to traditional and religious leaders.
They however advocated for specific role to deal with the security challenges.
The event is part of parliamentary approach to promote inclusiveness and openness in governance especially as regards parliamentary duties as well as poster better relation between the executive and legislative arms of government.
It is to create opportunity for interaction between the legislature and other key stakeholders to ensure transparency, accountability and public participation for good governance and representative democracy