By Musa Adamu
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said for Nigeria to surmount the challenges bedeviling it, all leaders in the country must as a matter of urgency, come together to ensure that the security and welfare needs of the people are adequately met.
According to Lawan, Nigeria is at a point where the provision of infrastructure alone by government cannot sufficiently address the underlying cause of growing insecurity and illiteracy in the country.
The Senate President made this known in a speech delivered at the 60th birthday celebration of Governor Nasir El-rufai and Presentation of the book “These Times: Selected Writings and Speeches by Nasir El-rufai” in Kaduna on Monday.
“Those of us in leadership positions, we know what we need to do. We need to have the courage and commitment and sustain them.
“Nigeria is at a crossroad, and more than ever now require the unity of the people. The issues bedeviling Nigeria today requires that all leaders, at all levels and in all parts of Nigeria need to come together.
“What we need is not only infrastructure, but we need the capacity building of the people. In this part of the country, this report has been consistent and apparently, little has been done to reverse it”, the Senate President lamented.
Lawan, therefore, called on the federal government to immediately introduce policies that would return the over thirteen million out-of-school-children back to school, so as to curb the rising number of illiteracy in Nigeria.
The Senate President said the report of 13 million or 14 million out-of-school children mostly in the north is dangerous for the country.
“Until we are able to reverse this kind of trend, no matter how much infrastructure you put, you will still have that social angle that will actually lead to serious insecurity, the kind that we experience or even worse, God forbid. So, we need to look at the people.”
The Senate President further admonished leaders in the country to live up to the responsibilities of their respective offices by demonstrating courage and acting expeditiously to guarantee the protection of lives and properties of citizens.
“Today, we are challenged by insecurity, sadly it is all over the country. This requires that all of us at every level of government come together and work to ensure that lives and properties of citizens are protected.
“The story is bad, everyday it is either kidnapping, assassination or some kind of banditry that leaves our people and communities shattered and destroyed.
“I want to take the opportunity of this celebration to send this message, that as leaders, we owe the people, not only the explanation, but actions”, Lawan added.