Andrew Uchendu, and All Progressives Congress (APC) senator representing Rivers East in the National Assembly, has attributed the general insecurity in the nation to youth unemployment.
The senator urged his colleagues to contribute their quota to national development and youth empowerment by taking a sacrificial step.
He suggested that in order to curb crimes and prevent long-term consequences, senators should dispose three of the five vehicles they each own and use the proceeds to engage the youth.
“Until our youth are engaged, this problem will continue,” Uchendu said at the plenary on Thursday on after Senator Shehu Sani’s presentation on the state of security in the country, especially in the North.
“If we dispose of three of the five vehicles we own and use the proceeds to engage our youth, would it not be better? We need to find appropriate economic policies to engage idle hands.”
Sani had moved a motion on the ‘senseless killing of a Briton and the abduction of three others in a holiday resort in Kaduna State by armed bandits’.
In seconding the motion, Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, expressed condolences to the families of the victims and also to “all Nigerians living in fear”.
“We need to declare a national state of emergency to enable the government put in place measures to end this problem,” Ekweremadu added. “We should marshal out a plan from the chambers of this Senate to secure this country.”
In his response, Senate President Bukola Saraki said: “If you all remember yesterday, we observed a minute silence and condoled with the family and sent messages to the embassy, but the Deputy Senate President rightly stood up and said, it goes beyond just this individual worker, both Nigerian and foreigner.
“There are a lot of issues that we need to address because the way these series of killings are going on and that is why we brought it up today. In line with the last speaker, we must begin to look at the solutions. When we talk about the way forward, we need to be honest with ourselves. We need to talk as senators in this upper chamber because in addressing these issues, we need to be frontal on what has led us to where we are today and we must proceed through our political parties’ platforms and see it as a problem that all of us need to address.”
After contributions from many senators, the Senate therefore resolved to do as follows:
I. Observe a minute silence in honour of the departed souls;
II. Urge the security authorities to intensify the search for the perpetrators and bring them to book;
III. Urge the government to set up inter-agency task force to tackle cases of banditry and kidnapping in Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Niger states;
IV. Urge security agencies to give special security cover to foreign workers and tourists;
V. Urge security agencies to immediately deploy the use of drones and interceptors in tracking kidnappers asking for ransom;
VI. Urge community leaders, traditional rulers and all stakeholders to co-operate with security agencies;
VII. Urge telecommunications companies to provide security agencies with information in areas where there are kidnappings;
VIII. Urge Senate to send a delegation to the British Embassy and condole (with) the British government.
IX. Senate should invite the acting IG of Police to brief the Senate on the initiative put in place to curb the current security situation in the country; and
X. Leader should ensure that the Bills that we passed on the Police Reform and Trust Fund be sent to our counterparts in the House, so we can get concurrence and have these Bills sent to the President so that we can get assent as quick as possible.