As promised by the Senate President Ahmed Lawan on Tuesday when the Senate resumed plenary for year 2020, there were fireworks on the floor of the Senate today (Wednesday) when the country’s security situation was placed on the front burner at the Senate. A motion to discuss the security situation in the country was tabled
As promised by the Senate President Ahmed Lawan on Tuesday when the Senate resumed plenary for year 2020, there were fireworks on the floor of the Senate today (Wednesday) when the country’s security situation was placed on the front burner at the Senate.
A motion to discuss the security situation in the country was tabled before the house by Senate Majority Leader Yahaya Abdullahi. On Tuesday during plenary, Senate President Ahmed Lawan had raised an alarm over the security challenges in various parts of the country decrying recent loss of lives recorded and describing the situation as worrisome.
He said “My distinguished colleagues, the security situation in our country requires serious attention and due consideration by the Senate and indeed the National Assembly,” he had told the senators in his welcome speech after the lawmakers resumed from their six-week recess.
Today’s entire plenary was devoted to a robust discussion of the security situation with every Senator being given three minutes each to make their contribution. Virtually, all the Senators agreed that the Nigeria Police as presently constituted is overstretched and overwhelmed to cope with security situation in the country.
Point of departure was however, how to remedy the situation. While some advocated for strengthening of the present police by boosting its personnel with additional officers, others advocated for the establishment of state police and others called for community policing.
Earlier, the Senate Minority leader Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe had fired a salvo while speaking on the motion by the Senate leader, Yahaya Abdullahi by calling for the resignation of the President given the state of insecurity in the country.
According to him, Nigerians did not elect the service chiefs, or Security Adviser, or Chief of Staff, we elected a President and when things are not going well, you go for the head. Nigerians voted a government into power and this government said if they didn’t perform Nigerians should stone, so we are ready to stone this government. Those who live by propaganda must die by propaganda”
The government has been lying to Nigerians that Boko Haram has been defeated but the APC government has been surviving on propaganda while Nigerians who elected them into power have been suffocating and are under siege. He then called for the resignation of the government of President Buhari for lack of capacity to redress insecurity in the country.
His comments were immediately rebuked by the Senate President who said the debate should not be on partisan lines urging his colleagues to avoid trading blames but to look ahead and proffer solutions that will make the country safe for everybody to live in.
Speaking on Tuesday, the Senate President had said, “Recently, the security in the country has 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.” There is a need to speedily seek for solutions to fix the security problems the country is grappling with.
The Senate President said, “There is an urgent need for a paradigm shift and reform of the architecture and structure of our security systems. Equally important is 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 (NSS) 2019.” He therefore, gave the assurance that the Senate was in support of the initiative to ensure the adequate security of Nigerians and their properties at the grassroots.
The Senate President promised that the lawmakers would pursue the implementation of community policing vigorously and invite police authorities to give an update on the progress made so far
Among the Senators who spoke in favour of state police were Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Senator George Sekibo. Senator Aliero suggested the strengthening of the current Police with the recruitment of at least a million police Officers. Senator Sam Egwu supported the strengthening of the Federal Police. Some Senators called for the replacement of the Service Chiefs.
Today’s debate is similar to the one held by the eight Senate in 2017, where the Senate passed a resolution to review the security infrastructure in Nigeria with a view to coming up with new ways of addressing insecurity in the country. Though a bill was passed to address the problem, it was not assented to by the President due to disagreement over some of its content.