Uyo — The Senate yesterday urged the Federal Government to create special courts for terrorism crimes in order to strengthen laws relating to insecurity and terrorism.
The suggestion was contained in a draft communiqué issued after this year's Senate Retreat in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
Proffering solutions to the Boko Haram insurgency, the Senate also urged the Federal Government to intensify measures to create more employment opportunities, reduce poverty and inequality.
It charged the government to increase logistics support for Borno State and other states affected by security challenge.
It also observed that in addition to the measures being pursued by the government, there was need for dialogue "as a feasible solution to addressing and resolving the Boko Haram attacks, while the sect should be encouraged to embrace dialogue as well.
"Governments at all levels should increase the index of capture in expenditures related to the provision of basic infrastructure to improve the quality of life and reduce social discontent; that good and effective governance be entrenched through effective implementation and monitoring of appropriation laws.
"Laws relating to insecurity and terrorism be strengthened; that a witness protection law be enacted to encourage citizens to volunteer useful information about perpetrators of insecurity.
"Some clerics and politicians had aggravated the security situation through hate and divisive utterances", it further said, stressing that "effective national security is crucial for meaningful sustainable development in Nigeria," the Senate said.
The retreat also called for an intensified war on corruption and urged the government to enhance bilateral and multilateral networking in curbing terrorism, adding that the National Assembly will continue to support increased funding for security agencies with greater focus on intelligence gathering.
"Countering terrorism and insecurity in the country requires new legislations and re-examination of existing legal framework on security; partnering with the international community to curb incidences of insecurity and terrorism is imperative especially given the international dimensions and connections of terrorist organisations.
"There is a need to re-examine how the judiciary adjudicates on cases of terrorism, and that states with the severest environmental degradation seem to have been worst hit by security challenges; and that local governments across the nation should be made to function effectively," the Senate said.