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Emergency: Senate meets service chiefs

The meeting was slated to hold last week Thursday but was botched by the police invasion of the National Assembly.Speaking shortly after the session, Senate…

The meeting was slated to hold last week Thursday but was botched by the police invasion of the National Assembly.
Speaking shortly after the session, Senate President David Mark said they had a very robust interaction with the service chiefs.
Those who appeared before the lawmakers include Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall Adesola Amosun, Director General of Department of State Service Ita Ekpeyong while Inspector General of Police Suleiman Abba was absent.
Abba had earlier delegated DIG Theophilus Makama but he was excused out of the meeting by the senators who insisted the IGP must appear in person.
There was presence of heavily-armed security operatives, mostly soldiers, at the premises of the National Assembly as service chiefs visited the Senate.
Our reporter observed Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh’s official vehicle parked inside the premises of the National Assembly near the Senate wing at about 12 noon, while many soldiers were sighted guarding it alongside those of other senior military officials that accompanied him.
Daily Trust reports that unlike in most cases in the past where Badeh’s security details parked outside the Assembly gate, they entered into the premises well-armed.
On the emergency rule extension, Senate spokesman Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia) said the matter was not discussed by the lawmakers as it wasn’t part of the agenda.
Senator Abaribe further said “the military has shown itself to be capable of dealing with the insurgency.”
He said some of the challenges facing the military include “troop levels and the level of equipment and all the other ancillary problems where you have to fight an asymmetrical war, not a formal conflict and we are very glad that the military is at this moment gearing up itself to be able to deal with this asymmetrical conflict in the North East of Nigeria.”
But Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara) told Daily Trust that the emergency rule extension had died a natural death and can only be considered if the president re-presents a fresh request, a position that was echoed by Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC, Borno).
Sources in the Senate said army chief Minimah lamented the politicisation of recruitment into the military where only children of the political class and other elite are enlisted. He said the recruitment pattern of the military must be open, transparent and based on merit so that only those who have the zeal to serve are recruited.
Meanwhile, the Senate will this morning debate last week’s invasion of the National Assembly by police and other security agencies.
Senate President David Mark, who made this known at the end of yesterday’s plenary, urged all his colleagues to make themselves available.

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