The Senate, on Tuesday, resolved to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the security situation in the country occasioned by insurgency, banditry and kidnapping.
The resolution was on the heels of a motion by Senator representing Niger East, Sani Musa.
Senator Musa while presenting his motion recalled the activities of bandits and Boko Haram terrorists in Shiroro, Munya and Rafi Local Government Areas of Niger State which he noted has taken a dangerous dimension.
He noted that almost seven years now his senatorial district has come under constant and sustained multiple deadly attacks by heartless, venomous and hydra-headed Boko Haram terrorists who are always heavily armed with assorted sophisticated and dangerous weapons unleashing their horror on our innocent populace.
He further noted that negative effects of atrocities committed by the bandits and the terror group, Boko Haram have led to a total collapse of the local economies of the affected victims, total collapse of the educational system in the affected areas, famine due to the collapse of agricultural activities, displacement as a result of desertion of crisis-prone areas, depopulation as a result of wanton deaths, social vices such as drug abuse and thuggery emanating from the struggle for survival, trauma arising from serial rape cases and inhumane, cruel and deadly subjugation.
“Unfortunately, these repeated attacks are taking place amidst absence of slightest hindrance, resistance or confrontation from the authorities concerned.”
Senator Musa further observed that about 42 communities across the two local government areas of Shiroro and Munya Local Government have so far fallen under the Boko Haram control with about 5,000 villagers already displaced in the last three days.
“They have kidnapped many and their wives seized from them and forcefully attached to Boko Haram members. Three military camps in Allawa, Bassa and Zagzaga in the two local government areas have been sacked and some security personnel killed by the insurgents in the last one month of renewed attacks.”
Senators in their individual contributions expressed concern over the failure of adequate response from security agencies in spite of several resolutions by the Senate.
Former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, declared that the Buhari administration has lost legitimacy having failed in its constitutionally assigned duties to protect the lives and property of Nigerians. He called for a total shut down of the Red Chamber to address, frontally the security situation.
Senator representing Ekiti North, Olubunmi Adetumbi, accused successive Nigerian leaders of failure to take decisive proactive measures having been given an eye-opener to the unfolding security menace by the Global Terrorism Index report.
Senator representing Osun Central, Basiru Ajibola advised the Senate to urgently unearth the report of its ad-hoc Committee on Security and commit itself to its implementation.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs specifically called for the implementation of the Committee which recommended the decentralisation of the security agencies, starting with the Police.
Former Bayelsa state governor and Senator representing Bayelsa West, Seriake Dickson called for a return to true Federalism.
He noted that under the present arrangement, the security agencies are overburdened while governors who answer to the designation as Chief Security Officers in their respective states are at the mercy of the federal government.
Senator Dickson maintained that the security chiefs are structurally handicapped and advised President Muhammadu Buhari to avert his mind to the call for restructuring.
He said: “Let us return to the essentials of our federation under our founding fathers. It is apparent that the Security Chiefs are structurally incompetent. We are about to lose the Nigerian dream and we shouldn’t allow that to happen. We have a challenge of leadership. Mr President should take the lead and do what he has to do, including the fundamental Constitution restructuring.”
Apart from the resolve to initiate a discussion with President Buhari, the Senate equally resolved to mandate the
Chief of Defense Staff, the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police immediately deploy troops to defend the unarmed populace and bring back security to the affected communities in Niger State, which is the only antidote to restoring confidence in the security and safety of the affected communities.
It urged the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police to as a matter of urgency direct for the establishment of permanent military and police command base at the axis adjoining Shiroro and Rafi Local Government areas respectively and to redesigned the modus of Operandi of the military operations within the affected areas so as to curtail the escalating insecurity.
The Senate also mandated the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and NEMA to as a matter of national emergency provide relief materials and medical support team to the victims immediately.
The Senate equally mandated the relevant Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, to initiate a meeting with Service Chiefs, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA) on the security implication of development in the Republic of Niger.
It also passed resolutions to meet with the Service Chiefs in Executive session while another committee would be inaugurated to look at reports and recommendations of its adhoc Security Committee.
In his concluding remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who promised to seek a supplementary budget from the Executive for the military maintained that all hands must be on deck to retrieve the nation from terror groups and bandits.
He said: “The security situation is a concern, not only to Parliament but all Nigerians. We have passed resolutions and we must follow them up.
“I don’t think it makes sense to close the Senate because when your country is challenged is when the Senate must be working.
“The security needs additional manpower and equipment. We need a Supplementary Budget to do this for us to get the outcome that everybody needs.
We must provide for them and that’s why the supplementary budget is essential. We have to take this country back.”
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