Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has 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 this at the National Assembly complex during the 3rd day of the National Assembly Open Week organised.
Hon 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 also calling 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.
While maintaining that the role of the government is to secure the lives and properties of its citizens, he 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 citizens engagement, citizens participation that guarantee good governance, decent society, that guarantees peace so that democracy can actually take root.
“I have said at some fora that if we do not defeat violence, violence will defeat us and will make nonsense of our experience of democracy. Government cannot teach us how to raise our kids, it is not possible. It hasn’t happened in any society. But i believe 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.”
Going further, he conveyed the readiness of the National Assembly to grant legal backing to such roles for traditional rulers.
“I believe that is where we require more, the role of traditional rulers and leaders of faith. So we hope that with interactions like this, we can listen to your input 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 rulership 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.”