As part of its mandate, the Senate on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 debated and passed a Motion titled “The Need for National Unity and Peaceful Coexistence in Nigeria”, sponsored by the 109 Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Leading the debate, the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan stated that the consideration of the Motion came at the right in the history of the country.
The Upper Legislative Chamber noted with serious concern that the greatest challenge facing Nigeria today is the threat to National Unity, as centrifugal forces call for self-determination, ethnicity and religious intolerance have enveloped national consciousness.
Sen Lawan added that since Independence, national integration has been the priority of government in Nigeria which saw the establishment of the National Youth Corps Service (NYSC), Unity School System, the Federal Character Principles, and many other affirmative policies intended to achieve national integration and peaceful coexistence among others.
The Senate Leader further observed that various integration policies and programmes in Nigeria have yielded some desired outcomes but there is more to be done as primordial ethnic sentiments and loyalties are still deeply rooted. In fact, some citizens, rather than work for the integration into a cohesive nation with a common sense of national identity and destiny are preaching and supporting primordial affiliation for identity, loyalty and security.
The Senate is concerned that recently, there have clamour for ethnic based and regionally support threat to one united Nigeria in various parts of the country. Consequently, Nigeria’s efforts at achieving national integration and unity have remained largely challenged with entire social matrix characterized by inter-community, intra-community, inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic, inter-religious and intra-religious strife. Accordingly, the Motion scaled through with six resolutions below:
i) Convey the commitment of all Nigerians who voted us into office that we live together in unity and harmony as one indivisible, indissoluble sovereign nation under God.
ii) Urge all Nigerians to desist from actions, utterances that are capable of jeopardizing the corporate existence of our dear nation.
iii) Urge distinguished Senators to intensify their representative role by embarking on sensitization campaign in their various constituencies to highlight the importance of harmony and peaceful coexistence.
iv) Urge the Federal Government to direct the Ministry of Information and National Orientation Agency and other relevant Agencies to intensify enlightenment and advocacy of loyalty to the nation.
v) Urge the Federal Government to ensure the prosecution of defaulters of the country’s laws, peace and coexistence of Nigeria.
vi) Urge the Federal Government to send the Resolutions of the last National Conference Report to the National Assembly for consideration.