Senators yesterday expressed frustration over rising insecurity in different parts of the country, saying the situation had reached an alarming stage and that drastic action must be taken to save Nigeria from total collapse.
They feared that bandits, terrorists and other criminal elements terrorising the country may soon overrun the nation’s capital after launching several deadly attacks in neighbouring states. The lawmakers spoke while contributing to a motion by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa (APC, Niger) on the activities of bandits and terrorists in Shiroro, Munya and Rafi local government areas of Niger State.
The Red Chamber, in its resolutions, mandated its leadership to meet with President Buhari over the security issue.
It also summoned the service chiefs to brief it on their efforts to address insecurity as well as the Director-General of Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama over the situation in Chad and the implications on Nigerian security.
The Senate also called for the immediate recruitment of more security personnel and the procurement of sophisticated weapons for the armed forces to fight terrorists, bandits and other criminals unleashing terror on Nigerians. Senator Musa, in his motion, said that almost seven years now, Niger East Senatorial District of Niger State have 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.”
Senator Musa said over 475 persons had been killed by bandits and terrorists in Niger East from January 2020 to date.
Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger) expressed fears that due to the closeness of Niger State to Abuja, the attacks may escalate to FCT. Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu), said any government that failed to protect its people had lost legitimacy.
Gabriel Suswam (PDP, Benue), said the executive had shown clear incompetence to address the situation, adding: “Our lives as senators are in danger. Nobody is attaching value to human life again. Maybe our president doesn’t know the magnitude of this situation.”
Senator Biodun Olujimi noted that lack of political will to handle insecurity was the problem, adding that the nation was almost inching towards Syria. Senate President Ahmad Lawan, in his closing remarks, asked the executive to request a supplementary budget to procure more equipment for the security agencies.
Lawan said: “The serious security situation is a matter of concern not only to the parliament but all citizens. What we have done in today’s plenary is to be able to speak the minds of our people.
“But what is crucial is to proffer solutions and our solutions are of course the resolutions we pass and then we will make some follow-ups.
“I don’t think it is the best of ideas that we close the Senate because there is a serious security situation. Actually, when your country is challenged, that is when you need the parliament to be alive and not to close. And we shall never be deterred; we shall never be discouraged with the discussion that we hold here because this is the essence of the parliament,” he said.