21 July 2020 by James Itodo.
The Senate has made a dismissive declaration against the Service Chiefs by telling them to step aside in the face of worsening problem of insecurity in the country .
Whatever actions put in place by the Service Chiefs , according to the upper legislative chamber, are not good enough , going by repeated killings of security personnels by insurgents and Armed bandits .
It consequently mandated its committees on Army, Airforce, Navy, Police , Defence , National Security and Intelligence as well as the one on Interior to interface with the various security agencies for the way out of the embarrassing security situation .
It also urged the Federal government to urgently ensure provision of modern equipment to enhance operational capabilities of the armed forces .
These were sequel to a motion moved by Senator Muhammad Ali Ndume representing Borno South on rising number of casualties among the Nigerian Army and other security agencies .
Ndume who rose through orders 42 and 52 of the Senate standing rules to draw the attention of Senators to the worsening security challenges, lamented the ambushing and killing of 24 soldiers along Damboa – Maiduguri Road in Borno State along with 19 others terribly injured .
He added that in Katsina also, about 20 soldiers were ambushed and killed while several others were wounded , a pathetic situation that led to allegedly voluntary resignation of over 200 soldiers from active service .
In his contribution ,the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi representing Kebbi North, said as things stand presently , the readiness of the armed forces to squarely face the insurgents or armed bandits is questionable going by the realities on ground .
” in terms of legislative intervention , this Senate and by extension, Ninth National Assembly has been taken motions upon motions and even went ahead to organise summits , but many of the recommendations pushed forward , are yet to be considered by the executive .
” A critical part of those recommendations is to equip the relevant security agencies with required sophisticated and modern equipment .
” Being an issue that defines the primary purpose of governance , we shall continue to work assiduously with the Executive arm of government in getting out of the worrisome situation ” , he said .
Senator Ibrahim Gobir representing Sokoto East , corroborated the Leader’s submission by alleging that arms and armunitions at the disposal of Nigerian security personnels are obsolete .
He disclosed that an officer in the Nigerian Army allegedly confided in him recently that while riffles given to them to fight insurgents and Armed bandits , were obsolete , the ones being paraded by the enemies were sophisticated .
“We cannot sit down and watch things degenerate further . Sophistication in terms of equipment is needed .
” It is very pathetic that even in my state ( Sokoto) , about 13 villages claimed to have been recaptured from bandits by the Nigerian Airforce through Air assaults, were later recaptured by the bandits due to no follow up on the ground” , he lamented .
Adding up to the lamentation in his own contribution, the Senator representing Enugu west, Ike Ekweremadu said whatever it would require to end the insurgency and armed banditry in the country must be done .
” If it is personnel, we should increase it for the various security agencies , if it is funding , as lawmakers, we must be ready to effect the required appropriation in that direction .
” The total number of innocent lives, estimated to be 300,000 , lost to all forms of insecurity over the years , is like a population of Nation like Caribbean , the trend of which must stop ” , he said .
President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, in his concluding remarks while condoling the families of slain soldiers, charged the Senate Joint Committees to investigate alleged desertion of the army by soldiers at the war front.
He said, “the spirit of this motion is that our armed forces are trying very hard, but just like the President said, their good is not good enough.
“We need to continue to encourage and provide for them. They laid their for us, and of course, it is very sad that some of them are alleged to have deserted the war front.
“We need to get to the bottom of this. Our joint committee should be able to find out the facts about this allegation of over 200 deserting the war front.”