Senate President Godswill Akpabio has sought synergy among West African countries towards addressing rising insecurity, saying Nigeria is determined to ensure the sub-region enjoys peace.
Akpabio said this on Thursday in Abuja at the opening of the international roundtable on Parliamentary Security Sector Governance organised by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).
The roundtable drew lawmakers from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana.
Akpabio, who was represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Daniel Gbenga, said: “Nigeria is a country that is willing and determined to ensure that the West African sub-region enjoys peace, security and shared prosperity in our developmental goals.
“To mitigate the challenges already identified, it is important to properly address insecurity in the West African sub-region.
“This can be done through deep cooperation and deliberate policies and laws by our parliament, as well as empower the parliament to assume full legislative powers.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, said effective governance and reform of the security sector were essential for upholding the rule of law, protecting human rights, and safeguarding democratic principles.
Abbas was represented by his deputy, Benjamin Kalu.
The Director-General, NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, said in recent times, West Africa has faced a scourge of terrorism, insurgency and transnational crime.
He said the series of military coups that have taken place in and around West Africa remained a threat to peace, rule of law and democratic stability.
Sulaiman said the roundtable provided an opportunity to pool insights, share best practices, and develop legislative frameworks that are responsive to the unique security dynamics of West Africa.
The country representative of KAS, Ms Marija Peran, said: “Security sector reforms, repurposing of security institutions and agencies, improved interagency cooperation, and effective oversight of the security sector are critical enablers to create a peaceful and secure Africa.”