Both chambers of the National Assembly, yesterday, expressed outrage and concern over what they termed deteriorating and unacceptable security in the country.
For the second time in 24 hours, Senate President Ahmad Lawan drew attention to the challenge, while the House of Representatives described it as alarming, even as opposition House members accused the Federal Government of complacency in tackling the menace of terrorists and bandits across the country.
While lamenting the continuous loss of lives, Lawan said the Senate would summon the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to brief the upper chamber on efforts to address the escalating wave of insecurity.
He said there was a need for the Senate “to speedily seek for solutions to fix the security problem bedevilling our dear country.”
Lawan, in a speech delivered to welcome lawmakers back from a six-week recess, said, as part of measures to reform the country’s security architecture, the National Assembly would engage the executive on the need for the immediate implementation of the recently launched National Security Strategy (NSS).
“The security situation in our country requires serious attention and due consideration by the Senate and indeed the National Assembly.
“Recently, the security in the country had deteriorated and the attendant loss of lives is not acceptable. We need to secure the lives and property of our citizens, as enshrined in our Constitution.
“We all are witnesses to how our economy is also affected by the inclement security situation. Therefore, we need to speedily seek for solutions to fix the security problem bedevilling our dear country.
“There is urgent need for paradigm shift and reform of the architecture and structure of our security systems. Equally important is the citizen participation, and collaboration in providing security.
“In this regard, the Senate will engage the Executive arm of government to discuss the implementation of the recently launched National Security Strategy 2019.
“For a long time, major stakeholders in the security of our nation and police authorities appear to achieve consensus on the necessity of introduction of community policing in the country.
“The Senate is going to pursue the implementation of community policing vigorously. To this end, the police authorities will be invited to brief and update the Senate on the progress made so far.”
We’re having sleepless nights – Reps
Similarly, the House of Representatives expressed concern over the security situation.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, House spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu (Abia, APC), said the situation was alarming. He said the ninth Assembly would look at various legislative interventions with regard to insecurity in the country, to ensure Nigerians are safe, because it was the major duty of government to safeguard life and property.
“We will look at what pains you and pains us, which is insecurity in the land; the situation is alarming. We can no longer discuss it in low tones. The cries of those that have lost their lives are giving us sleepless nights and something needs to be done about it.
“This ninth Assembly is going to look at various legislative interventions with regard to insecurity in the country to ensure Nigerians are safe. It is a core mandate of every government to protect lives and property.”
In reaction, members of the House elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) accused the Federal Government of being complacent in tackling security challenges across the country.
The lawmakers, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja, condemned the recent killings in Plateau, Kaduna and other parts of the country and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to show commitment in combating insecurity.
They stated that the “mindless” killings of Nigerians by insurgents and other armed gangs have reached an alarming stage, noting that to contain it required drastic actions.
Solomon Karen, member representing Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency of Plateau State, who spoke on behalf of the lawmakers, alleged that insurgents and other criminals wreaking havoc across the country have been emboldened because of the inability of government to take decisive action against them.
The lawmakers lamented that though killer herdsmen have been designated as terrorists in other parts of the world, Nigeria’s government was still treating them with kid gloves.
“We have drifted from the ideas of the founding fathers. Government seems not only complacent but to be condoning these hoodlums and probably protecting them by dealing with the issues with kid gloves because there has been no single prosecution of those arrested over the years, no categorical statement and policy to fight this menace to finish.
“Even when killer herdsmen were designated and referred to as most dangerous terrorist gang in the world, our government didn’t classify them as such; one can easily conclude that genocide has been declared on my people as indeed Plateau State.
“Consequently, we call on Mr. President to show sincerity and commitment, match words with actions to secure all Nigerians wherever they are. As Commander-in-Chief, he should provide security agencies with modern equipment, resources and the political will to make them succeed.”