By ABUBAKAR IBRAHIM, Abuja
The leadership of the National Assembly is committed to its shared responsibility of ensuring the safety of parliamentarians, employees, visitors and parliamentary estates, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara has said.
He stated this in a keynote paper on Re-Structuring The Sergeant-At-Arms and National Assembly Security at the Transcorp Hilton on Tuesday.
“The leadership of the National Assembly is committed to our shared responsibility to ensuring the safety of parliamentarians, employees, visitors and parliamentary estates. I am confident that a re-structured sergeant-at-arms will allow us to take this commitment one step further and place us in a better position to mitigate future threats while maintaining an open and secure Parliament,” he said.
He said that he was delighted to be invited to deliver the keynote address at the commencement of this important pan-African conference on re-structuring sergeant-at-arms and parliamentary security.
“The suggested changes, restructuring and support solicited would provide the tools and support for the Sergeant-at-Arms to improve its ability to prevent security breaches and possible attacks on the National Assembly, NASS buildings and legislators. A restructured Sergeant-at-Arms will be responsible for all matters relating to physical security throughout the National Assembly and coordinate the activities of all security partners attached to NASS. This task can only be effectively undertaken if the personnel, training and structure of the Sergeant at arms is overhauled to meet international standard,” he advised.
He challenged all the discussants o be open in their discussion, and advance ideas that would impart positively.
“I would like to encourage you all to be open in your discussions today about the security challenges facing our different countries and parliaments and advance ideas on how to improve and better structure parliamentary security. If the old adage that we learn more from our mistakes than our successes is true, this conference should be a very informative forum. I look forward to your recommendations on the way forward,” he said.
He commended the facilitators of the Conference, the National Institute for Legislative Studies, for the innovative and timely topic and for reaching out to such a broad range of stakeholders.