Senate Urges President to Crush Boko Haram
Worried by the seemingly intractable security challenges posed by the Boko Haram menace in the country, the Senate Wednesday issued a stern charge to the Presidency to deploy all arsenal at its disposal to crush the fundamentalist sect whose terrorist activities in the past two years have led to the death of hundreds of Nigerians and destruction of properties worth millions of naira.
Following the adoption of a motion on the April 8 terrorist attack in Kaduna, the upper chamber specifically called on the Federal Government to immediately resolve the Boko Haram insurgency in order to avoid national disintegration and anarchy.
Saying that the current security challenge should not be seen as a Northern problem, the Senate also urged its committees on National Security, Intelligence, Defence and Army, Police Affairs, and Interior, to intensify their oversight functions over the security agencies in the country with a view to improving their capabilities in tackling the current security challenges.
Presenting the motion, the lead sponsor, Senator Mohammed Sani Salleh, lamented that the terrorist attacks had continued unabated nationwide, especially in parts of the North-eastern states, despite the assurances of “our security agencies of being on top of the situation”.
He expressed sadness that the attack which happened at the centre of Kaduna city in spite of the numerous road blocks and checkpoints in the city, claimed the lives of mainly Okada riders, food vendors, commuters, passersby and motorists.
He added that the Kaduna blast was a stark reminder of the Madalla blast of last December 25. The blast claimed 13 lives, injured 32 and destroyed properties worth millions of naira. The incident has since brought untold hardship on victims, relatives and residents of the city.
Senators who spoke on the motion warned that the country risks disintegration if the activities of the extremist sect are not nipped in the bud. They also lamented the inefficiency of the security agencies as well as the porous nature of the borders.
In his ruling, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who presided over Wednesday’s plenary noted that national security should be topmost on government’s agenda, adding that if not critically tackled, it could result to anarchy.
Ekweremadu however called on Northern governors to be fully engaged in the fight against the spate of bombings and fashion out ways to stem the tide.
"We will not discuss and disperse; that will not happen any longer. We will set up measures to follow up on the situation. I don't believe money is the issue. If we articulate ideas we can get the money even if we have to borrow,” he said.
In his contribution, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia) said: "We are at war. When we are at war, we need to do the needful. We are at war with those that want the country to break up. But I don't believe these people will break up Nigeria. It is only when we fail to do what we need to do that the country will break. Security has to step up to the challenge. We are aware of lack of co-operation among the security agencies.
“As we speak to you, there are no border patrols.”
He also noted that there had not been enough resolutions from the Northern elders and political class as was witnessed during the militancy days and kidnapping saga.
On his part, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (ACN, Ekiti) noted that Nigerians were beginning to make a mockery of the resolutions reached by the Senate following previous debates of similar motions without effective implementation by the executive.
Adetumbi asked: “Where is the power of the Senate to make things happen? Adding, “Nigerians are tired of the condemnations of these attacks. They are asking whether there is a government in place. The government has failed to guarantee security of people’s lives and properties. The Boko Haram issue is not a religious, ethnic or political one; it is a security matter that must be tackled urgently.”