Some All Progressives Congress (APC) senators have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take take urgent action, stressing that his best is not enough.
The senators led by Senate President Ahmad Lawan called for the sack of Service Chiefs, noting that, they have outlived their usefulness.
Speaking on the recent spate of killings in plenary, Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita (APC – Katsina), while throwing his weight behind the deployment of the Joint Task Force to the North East, lamented that despite huge allocations to the Defence Ministry, very little has been achieved in the area of guaranteeing the security of lives and property in the North East region.
“I totally agree that the President is doing his best, but doing your best is not enough when the result cannot be seen on ground, and this is what is happening.
“It’s not all about money, this National Assembly has increased the budget year in, year out, to the security apparatus of this country, yet the more we give money, the more attacks we have,” he lamented.
Senator Kashim Shettima (APC – Borno Central) said he was disheartened that more than 67 citizens were beheaded while they were working in their farmland without any form of resistance or challenge from the security agencies stationed a few kilometres away.
“Worried that the Nigerian military in conjunction with other security agencies up till today have not been able to quell the insurgency affecting the region despite the slogan by Government officials that the insurgents have been technically defeated.
“We cannot as a nation move forward until the lives of every Nigerian is protected and secured as the primary objective of government is the security and the protection of its citizens.
“Protecting the lives and property of citizens is the primary obligation of government and any government that cannot discharge this basic obligation losses any iota of legitimacy,” he added.
Another senator from Borno, Ali Ndume (APC – Borno South) bemoaned the delay in the implementation of the report of the National Assembly by the Executive arm if government, on measures needed to be undertaken towards an overhaul of the nation’s security infrastructure.
“Mr. President, this Senate needs to move a step further to save this country.
Citing Section 14 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the lawmaker emphasized that while sovereignty belongs to the Nigerian people, the primary purpose and responsibility of the Federal Government shall be to guarantee the security and welfare of citizens.
“Mr. President, before us is a budget of N13 trillion, and to the army, we are budgeting N27 billion for its capital.
“The figures when looked at is on the high side. Defence has over N800 billion; and more than N500 billion and another N100 billion for operation Lafia dole. That makes me to agree with my distinguished colleague that there is the need to look into this.
“We pay people, and they don’t have the arms or ammunitions. I can tell you authoritatively that until now, people at the war front are sharing ammunitions.
“If you’re not told that these are soldiers, you would not be able to tell the difference between them and Boko Haram, because they are not well kitted. Some of them don’t have bullet proof vests or helmets.
“I have gone round, and I have not seen a soldier holding a brand new AK-47. When you brand new AK-47, it is only in Abuja here with the Brigade of Guards,” the lawmaker said.
Senator Adamu Aliero (APC – Kebbi Central) on his part faulted President Muhammadu Buhari for not deeming it fit to visit Borno State following the killing of the farmers.
The lawmaker while noting that, “the humanitarian situation in the northeast is nothing to write about”, said the “Service Chiefs have outlived their usefulness”, therefore, “it is time to inject new blood”.
The Senate President Ahmad Lawan said additional steps must be taken to safeguard Nigeria. “I believe that the National Assembly has taken the issue of insecurity very seriously. We have always given attention to it.
“We have to take additional steps to insist that our resolutions are respected and implemented, because the parliamentarians are close to the people.
“I believe that this is one set of resolutions that the Executive must find a way of quickly implementing. These are not frivolous or imaginary resolutions. These are resolutions that have come from experience on ground.
“I think that this is one thing that will gladden the heart of Nigerians once we start implementing them.
“I also believe that the national assembly has a lot of responsibility and weight on this and other issues, and that is to say this is supposed to be a turning point.
“I use the word turning point very purposefully, that barbaric killing and slaughter of people in Borno, let’s make it the turning point in the fight against insurgency and insecurity in Nigeria. I believe that government as a whole should see it that way.
“Enough of any excuses, people who have little or nothing to add should be shown the way out. People with the capacity and wherewithal, but probably lack the resources, we will make the resources available to them.
“At the end of the day, we are responsible to the citizens, and the first responsibility is to secure their lives,” Lawan said.