The public hearing for the North east development bill held on Monday, May 9, at the National Assembly in Abuja. The bill is aimed at creating the legislative framework to enable government provide the basic structures and capacities that will enable it rebuild the North east.
Senate president Bukola Saraki while giving his speech at the public hearing made some touching points. Read ten below.
1. The North east has endured unprecedented pervasive brutality, satanic barbarism meted out against them; Christians and Muslims alike, young and old, men and women by the activities of Boko Haram.
2. Distinguished colleagues, our invited guests, it is very hard to under-estimate the importance of this bill. This is especially so, in the context of what we as a nation especially the North eastern part of our country have gone through and endured in the last seven years.
3. For seven years, innocent citizens of our dear country Nigeria suffered untold destruction of both private and public properties worth billions of naira.
4. In an orgy of un-abating and indiscriminate attacks on the Nigerian state and its circularity, they employed everything destructive to threaten our national security and socio-economic stability; maiming, bombing, attacking every institution that would help us remain a virile and united nation.
5. What we have witnessed in the North east demands special attention from all well meaning Nigerians, not just from government. We must all rise up and say never again.
6. We have seen families wiped out, children orphaned, incomes plunged below a tenth of what they were a decade ago.
7. Families that have survived this onslaught, have largely survived with little to live by and now rely directly on handouts for food rations.
8. More than a quarter of the children in this area are either malnourished or in danger of malnourishment.
9. Schools have become deserted and the social fabric of our national unity severely perforated in this area, threatening to create deep set divisions among us, fueling animosities amongst Muslims and Christians. Leading to the entire economy of the region bleeding profusely.
10. It is in this unique and dire context that we must appreciate the importance and urgency for us as a legislature and government to act, to restore hope and rebuild the North east.