The Senate, on Tuesday, called for the immediate recruitment of more security personnel and procurement of sophisticated weapons for the armed forces to fight terrorists, bandits and other criminals unleashing terror on Nigerians.
It also mandated its leaders to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the insecurity facing the country.
Besides, the Red Chamber also summoned the service chiefs to brief it on their effort to addressing insecurity.
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The Director-General of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Minister of Foreign Affairs were also invited over the situation in Chad and the implications on Nigerian security.
These were sequel to a motion by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa (APC, Niger) over the activities of bandits and terrorists in Shiroro, Munya and Rafi local government areas of Niger State.
Senator Musa, in his motion, said that almost seven years now, Niger East Senatorial District of Niger State had 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 disclosed that about 42 communities across the two local government areas of Shiroro and Munya in Niger have so far fallen under the Boko Haram control, with about 5,000 villagers already displaced in the last three days.
‘475 people killed in 4 months’
Senator Musa said over 475 persons had been killed by bandits and terrorists in Niger East between January 2020 to date.
“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,” he said.
The lawmaker added that if the menace is not drastically addressed, the attacks will continue and the danger is that it may escalate further to other communities.
Senators, in their various contributions, said the insecurity had reached an alarming stage and drastic action must be taken to save the country from total collapse.
Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger) expressed fears that due to the closeness of Niger State to Abuja, the terrorists and bandits may find safe haven in the FCT, calling for drastic action.
‘FG not taking security seriously’
Bima Enagi (APC, Niger) said the federal government was handling the insecurity with kids glove, adding that Nigerians were not ready to wait for 20 years for the crisis to be tamed.
“We cannot continue to allow our women to be raped, watch our school without going to school.
“The situation is so shameful that a giant country like Nigeria could not address the insecurity,” he added.
Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu) said any government that fails to protect its people has lost legitimacy, while Gabriel Suswam (PDP, Benue) said the Executive had shown clear incompetence to address the situation.
“A time has come for us to, if possible, shut down the Senate to address the situation,” Ekweremadu said.
Seriake Dickson (PDP, Bayelsa) said: “We are about to lose the Nigerian dream and should not allow that to happen.
“Mr President should rise to the occasion and leading in constitutional reform. If he failed, we, in the National Assembly, can give this country a new leadership.”
Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo) and Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi) urged the federal government to seek support from foreign governments.
Abuja next target?
While Urhoghide expressed fears that Abuja might be the next target if the situation is not addressed, Adeyemi, in an emotion-laden voice, said: “The president should rise to the occasion because the country is on fire.
“People are dying every day in all parts of the country.”
The Senate, accordingly, called on the Chief of Defense Staff, the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police to immediately deploy troops to defend the unarmed populace and bring back security to the affected communities in Niger State.
It also 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 redesign the modus of Operandi of the military operations within the affected areas so as to curtail the escalating insecurity.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, in his closing remarks, asked the Executive to request a supplementary budget to procure more equipment for the security agencies.
“Our security agencies require additional manpower.
“We need to have a supplementary budget not only to procure more weapons but also to recruit more personnel.
“It is going to be very expensive, but we need to be persistent,” he said.