Mr. Tambuwal spoke at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, on Saturday identified the twin malaise of corruption and poverty as the greatest threats to national development.
Mr. Tambuwal, who was speaking at a lecture on “Religion, Ethnicity and Corruption: Challenges of National Security” held at the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, said the hydra-headed menace of corruption is not only manifest in the public service, but also across all segments of the society, including schools, businesses and private homes.
The lecture was organised by the Centre for Peace, Conflict and Security Studies, ABU, in collaboration with Students’ Representative Council of the institution.
Mr. Tambuwal, who was represented by the Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Bashir Adamu, lamented the prevalence of corruption and poverty in the country. He said the negative impact is gradually affecting the country’s unity, which he advised must be taken as topmost priority, since separation is not an issue.
The speaker stressed the need for Nigerians to exploit all avenues to protect the corporate existence of Nigeria through unity, peace, tolerance and understanding of one another’s cultures and values.
“For democracy to succeed, people must learn to accommodate, tolerate and embrace one another,” the Speaker said.
The Vice-Chancellor of ABU, Abdullahi Mustapha, observed that national conflicts are as a result of conflicts from ward, local and state levels, assuring that the lecture was part of the institution’s attempt to support the effort to find solutions to conflict situations.
Mr. Mustapha, who was represented by Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Adebayo Joshua, expressed the hope that more of such lectures would be organised to enlighten the people on the consequences of the menace.
The guest speakers, Aminu Mohammed-Dorayi of the Institute of Security Studies, and Abubakar Saddiq-Muhammad of Political Science Department, ABU, advised Nigerians not to use religion and ethnicity as a means of achieving political goals.
They identified lack of political will by the government, and political leaders, to genuinely deal with corruption, poor criminal justice system, absence of moral code of ethics and integrity benchmarks as some of the factors responsible for endemic corruption in the country.
The guest speakers also described lack of electricity as a threat to national security and called for urgent measures to address the problem in order to provide employment opportunities to millions of the Nigerians.