The President of the Senate, David Mark, on Thursday said those beating the drums of war ahead of the 2015 elections, should realise that no nation survives two civil wars.
He said, “Those beating the drums of war should realise that no nation can survive two civil wars in one lifetime.Mark said this in Abuja while addressing his colleagues during a special plenary session to mark the end of the Second Legislative Session of the 7th Senate.
“These trends must stop, and we must all remember that the nation is greater than the sum total of its parts.”
Mark said this just as he lashed out at elected public officeholders whom he accused of abandoning governance in pursuit of their personal ambitions ahead of the elections.
According to him, the vaulting personal ambitions among politicians was over-heating the polity and distracting officeholders from the onerous task of governance.
Mark said, “Elections are two clear years away, yet the collision of vaulting personal ambitions is over-heating the polity and distracting the onerous task of governance.
“Overheating the polity is unnecessary, diversionary, divisive, destructive, unhelpful and unpatriotic.”
The Senate President used the occasion to recall critical interventions by the Senate in terms of national crisis during the year under review.
He listed Senate’s support for the war against terrorism by providing the legislative support for the declaration of a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
Mark explained that the Nigerian Armed Forces were not at war with the communities in which the terrorists had entrenched themselves, nor were they at war with Islam.
The war he said was with Boko Haram and its affiliates, especially the terrorists’ network preaching the ideology that violence against Nigerians and foreigners was justified.
Mark equally stressed the need for the military to quickly dispense with the operations of the emergency rule and defeat the insurgents with minimal damage.
He said, “The military campaign against violent extremism, both at home and abroad must be quick, surgical and precise with as little collateral damage as possible. We know that the foe is faceless, unyielding, unreasonable and more often than not blinded by zealotry.
“This notwithstanding, we expect our fighting men and women to respect and abide by the rules of engagement.”
He maintained that the nation could not afford to be in a permanent state of war, adding that Nigerians were eagerly awaiting a quick, but decisive victory.
Speaking on the executive and legislature’s relationship, Mark said the Senate resisted any attempt to cast the legislature as a rubber stamp, but recognised the complementary and collaborative role it plays with the executive branch as long as it was in the best interest of Nigerians.