The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has asked the armed forces to take the battle to the criminals in their hideouts, in a bid to tackle the security challenges in the country.
He stated this on Wednesday when he met with the service chiefs and the joint House Committees on Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
Those present included Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
The meeting comes one week after the House and the Senate dedicated a whole day to debate the issue of insecurity in the country, with the lawmakers calling for the resignation of the service chiefs.
According to the speaker, security is a priority of the 9th House of Representatives and will be addressed frontally.
He told the service chiefs that Nigerians were on the necks of their representatives in the House over the security situation in the country.
Gbajabiamila noted that although the service chiefs were doing a lot, the anxiety among Nigerians was enough reason for the military commanders to redouble their efforts.
He said, “I thought I should be here to encourage everybody that we’re all on the same page. We all know the situation in Nigeria today, we can’t hide from it; we can’t shy away from it, we cannot pretend that it doesn’t exist.
“We spent practically the whole day on Wednesday (last week) discussing the security situation in Nigeria as expected. Simultaneously, the Senate was doing the same thing without us comparing notes.”
The lawmaker decried that people were dying daily in such a way he said could only be found in countries without security forces.
He stressed, ”We must think outside the box; we must take the battle to these criminals whatever they are.
“As I said at the State House the other day, Nigerians are anxious, but I do understand the limitations of the Armed Forces.”
Gbajabiamila, however, commended the service chiefs, as well as men and women of the Armed Forces for doing their best and sacrificing their lives for the country.
He promised that the House would continue to engage the armed forces to find a lasting solution to the security challenges.
The speaker assured the service chiefs of improved support of the lawmakers, highlighting funding, equipment, and recruitment of personnel as some of the challenges they face.
“I believe the committee is well equipped to handle these issues. This is our priority. It’s the government’s priority, and it should also be our priority in the House.
“It’s major in our legislative agenda and we must address it frontally, squarely,” he said.