The House of Representatives has asked the Nigeria Police Force 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.
Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, who announced this in an address on the Shasha violence and the rising spate of inter-ethnic violence in the country at Tuesday’s plenary, said the House would not sit back while Nigerians are killed by their fellow countrymen.
He said the Committees on Police Affairs and Justice were mandated to communicate the House’s position to the Inspector General of Police.
Gbajabiamila also said the House welcomed the committee constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari headed by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, to hold peace and unity consultations across the country.
“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,” Gbajabiamila said.
While commiserating with the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident, the government and the good people of Oyo State, the Speaker assured all Nigerians that the House would 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.”
Describing the House as a microcosm of Nigeria, which represents every tribe, region, creed and religion, Gbajabiamila said: “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.”
Gbajabiamila urged all those who have 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.”