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Insecurity: Again, Senate summons security chiefs

• seeks urgent stop to kidnappings, banditry, killings

The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday resolved again to summon all the security chiefs amid rising insecurity in the country.

The upper chamber listed kidnapping, banditry, robbery and murder among security issues it said the federal government must confront urgently, owing to reports of spreads in many parts of the country.

Senators passed the resolution in Abuja soon after they reconvened for work from their Christmas and New Year recess.

Incidentally, the Senate’s resolution, endorsed by all 109 lawmakers, was the second of such summons to the security chiefs within 30 days.

The service chiefs had earlier been summoned on December 30 following the Christmas eve attacks by bandits in Barkin Ladi and Bokkos Local Government Areas of Plateau State that claimed many lives.

At Tuesday’s session, which was presided over by the President of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, senators resolved to “invoke” its earlier resolution summoning the security chiefs.

It asked the security chiefs to appear before lawmakers  “with a view to resolving the security challenges plaguing the entire nation.”

The resolution came on the heels of at least six motions on insecurity tabled before the floor by different senators on Tuesday.

One of the motions was on the January 5 invasion of communities in Agatu local government area of Benue State by bandits, killing villagers and displacing many others.

It was moved by the senator representing Benue-South Senatorial District, Sen. Abba Moro.

The number of motions on insecurity forced the Senate into a closed-door where after deliberating for over two hours, the motions were consolidated and moved as a single motion by all 109 senators.

The Leader of the Senate, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele, moved the motion.

It reads, “Motion on Spate of insecurity in Nigeria.

“The Senate notes with sadness the rising spate of killings, kidnappings, banditry, and other criminal activities in the nation.

“Senate further notes the recent killings in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State, which led to lost of lives, including security personnel and wanting destruction of properties as well as the brutal killings of eleven residents of Logo Local Government Area of Benue state.

‘The Senate equally notes the various kidnappings in the Federal Capital Territory, where victims have been killed after collecting ransom.

“The Senate is also aware of several cases of kidnappings all over the country where huge ransom had been paid and several of the victims still got killed.

“The Senate is also aware that the recent killings of two traditional rulers in Ekiti State and the abduction of primary school pupils in Ekiti had further aggravated the level of insecurity in the country.

“The Senate notes the unfortunate bomb explosion at Bodija in Ibadan, Oyo State, where no fewer than five lives were lost and several residential houses, schools, hotels, and religious centres were destroyed.

“The Senate equally notes the killing of several residents of Mangu, Bokkos, and Barkin Ladi communities in Plateau State.”

Speaking after the resolution was passed, Akpabio said this time round, the National Assembly (both Senate and House of Representatives) would thoroughly work in collaboration with the executive arm of government to recommend lasting solutions to insecurity in Nigeria.

“We have a responsibility to meet with Mr President on the outcome of the interactions with the security chiefs.

“Security is everyone’s business. We are determined to protect the lives and property of the citizenry”, he stated.

The session also observed a minute’s silence in honour of the victims of kidnappings, robberies, banditry and murders.

The Senate also extended condolences over the lives lost in the recent explosion in a section of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Among the security heads summoned were the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar;  Inspector-General of Police; Kayode Egbetokun; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar; Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu.

Soon after that resolution was passed, the Senate adjourned plenary till February 6.

Akpabio explained that this was to allow senators to participate in preparations for bye-elections to be held in many states next Saturday.

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