Nigeria’s diversity is our strength, not weakness, says Lawan

President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has called on leaders in the country to take advantage of the country’s diversity to wield the required strength to foster unity, peace and development. 

Lawan gave the charge while reacting to a point of order brought to the floor on by Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP – Taraba South) during plenary on Tuesday.

Bwacha while relying on order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules, drew the attention of his colleagues to the recent killing of George Floyd by the Police in Minneapolis, United States of America.

“The global protest against racism which was ignited from the action of a racist police in Mineapolis in the United States.

“We are all aware of what followed, the wicked despicable manner the life of George Floyd was taken from this world.

“This singular incident, Mr. President, ordinarily would have generated debates even in this chamber. Meaning, I would have invoked order 52 to enable us debate this matter.”

According to the lawmaker, his decision not to bring up the matter for consideration was due to the fact that Nigeria lacks the moral standing to condemn the killing of Mr. Floyd as the country presently grapples with its own problems of killings arising from ethnic and religious discrimination. 

Bwacha was countered by his colleague, Senator Adamu Aliero (APC – Kebbi Central), who also relied on order 43 on personal explanation, to crave the indulgence of the Senate not to entertain any matter that may spark unnecessary controversy. 

Bwacha, however, explained that the reason for bringing up the death of George Floyd was to remind Nigerians on the need to work on all associated problems that are spin-offs from the country’s diversity. 

In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan said, “We should ensure as leaders that we use and weave this diversity into strength, and that is trying to provide leadership regardless of geographical, ethnic and religious differences. Many of our leaders are trying to do that, so I think you tried to deviate a little bit and it almost turned controversial.”

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