The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, will meet with President Buhari to discuss security challenges arising from the activities of Boko Haram insurgents and bandits in parts of the country.
The resolution to do so was reached after the Senate considered a motion on the resurgence of killings in Borno North by Boko Haram insurgents.
The motion was sponsored by Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC – Borno North); and Co-sponsored by Senators Kashim Shettima (APC – Borno Central); and Ali Ndume (APC – Borno South).
Kyari while relying on order 42 and 52 of the Senate standing rules, lamented the killing of ninety persons – which included women and children – on Tuesday 9th June, 2020, by Boko Haram insurgents following an attack on Foduma Kolum village of Gubio Local Government.
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The lawmaker who further bemoaned the resurgence of what he described as “senseless killings” by the insurgents in recent weeks, said seventeen people were killed in Gajiagana, Magimeri local government on 17th May, 2020; and another thirty-three persons killed in Nganzai local government on 22nd May, 2020.
According to him, “these attacks are becoming very worrisome in view of the fact that the Nigerian Armed Forces recently started recording successes in the fight against insurgency.”
Kyari raised alarm that “these attacks which have led to the massacre of hundreds of people, also include acts such as cattle rustling, kidnapping, abduction and forceful displacement of people from their ancestral communities.”
He further expressed concern that “with the coming of the rains and farming season, the land is terribly insecure with marauding insurgents at bay. The consequences of food shortage can better be imagined.”
Senator Ali Ndume (APC – Borno South), in his contribution, lamented the inability of the Armed Forces to completely cripple insurgent activities in the North-East.
He, therefore, called on the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and his counterpart in the House of Representatives to meet with President Buhari to discuss the spate of insecurity in northern Nigeria.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks said, “Boko Haram has metamorphosed from a group of religious zealots into an industry. It is an industry because what they do is not religious. They have people from different faiths and countries who are part of Boko Haram.
“This Senate passed so many resolutions including the reports of the various Ad-Hoc Committees we set up on Security but the problem persists.”
“I don’t want to say meeting the President is something that we have to reveal if we do, but of course it is natural that issues like this will be of interest for us to discuss with the President, and we have been doing that.
“What is necessary is for us to persist. Our Armed Forces have their challenges, and therefore, we will continue to look at those challenges and try to address them.
“Where however anybody is found wanting, our stand should be that people should occupy offices based on their performance.
“There’s no point if somebody is not registering successes for such person to continue to be there, but that is if you give that person the necessary tools to fight. So, we should give them the necessary tools, and then we hold them accountable.
“We will do that in addition to of course meeting Mr. President, it is not going to be the Senate President, I’ll make sure that I have my colleague in the House of Representatives because this is a national question”, Lawan said.
Accordingly, the Senate in its resolutions urged the Federal Government to direct, as a matter of urgency, the Nigerian Armed Forces and relevant security agencies to beef up personnel and equipment deployment to critical areas especially in and around the Lake Chad shores in order to flush out the insurgents.
The Upper chamber urged the Federal Government to direct the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to immediately send relief materials to the victims of these attacks.
The Senate also urged the Federal Government to immediately begin the implementation of the recommendations of the “Report of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Nigeria Security Challenges: Need to Restructure, Review, and re-organize the Current Security Architecture” as a way of addressing the nations current security challenges.
The Senate observed a one-minute silence to mourn those who lost their lives in the attacks by insurgents.