By Naomi Sharang
Abuja, April 27, 2021 The Senate on Tuesday sought the establishment of a permanent military and police command base in the area adjoining Shiroro and Rafi Local Government areas of Niger state, to tackle escalating insecurity in the state.
The resolution was sequel to a Point of Order raised by Sen. Sani Musa (APC-Niger) at plenary.
The upper chamber also urged the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector-General of Police to redesign the mode of operations of the military in the affected areas, so as to curtail escalating insecurity.
The motion was titled “The activities of bandits and Boko Haram terrorists in Shiroro, Munya and Rafi Local Government Areas of Niger State: And the need to bring an end to the menace.”
An additional resolution was for the Senate to schedule a meeting with President Muhammadu on the security situation.
Raising Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, Musa recalled that although several efforts had been made on the insecurity situation in the country, nothing had been achieved so far.
“In this hallowed chamber we have made several resolutions, set up an Ad-hoc Committee on Security and declared every support at bringing an end to the persistent insecurity in our nation.
“We have appropriated budget and also advanced numerous steps to support our nation’s security agencies, yet security has continued to elude the nation.
“Almost seven years now, Niger East Senatorial District has come under constant and sustained multiple deadly attacks by heartless, venomous and hydra-headed Boko Haram terrorists.
“About 42 communities across the two local government areas of Shiroro and Munya Local Governments have so far fallen under Boko Haram control, with about 5,000 villagers already displaced in the last three days.”
Supporting the debate, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi said: “Yet again, we are here discussing this unfortunate incidence of insecurity in our country.
“It is indeed with a very heavy heart and a painful voice that I lend my support to the motion moved by my brother, Sen. Sani Musa.
“Given whatever suggestions we are going to make by virtue of the prayers in the motion, my concern is that something drastic has to be done,” he said.
Also, Sen. Bima Enagi (APC-Niger) said that the situation had become so bad and so shameful.
“Our women cannot go to markets; our women cannot go to fetch water from the rivers; our men cannot go to the farms; our children cannot go to school.
“We all know that we are here today because we had the opportunity of education. Now, our brothers, our children are being denied that education.
“We cannot continue to allow Boko Haram to mount flags on Nigerian territory. What is our army doing,” he asked?
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said that what was crucial to the situation was to proffer solutions.
“Our solutions are of course the resolutions, the resolutions that we passed and then we make some follow ups.
“I don’t think it’s the best of ideas we close the Senate because there is serious security situation and actually when your country is challenged that is when you need the parliament to be alive, not to close.
“And we shall never be deterred, we should not be discouraged by the discussions that we have here, because this is the essence of parliament.
“We will follow it up, we will insist that our resolutions are implemented,” he said.
Lawan further called for a supplementary budget to fund, not only the recruitment of additional security personnel but also procurement of weapons.
In the meantime, the Senate has mandated its Committees on Foreign Affairs and Defence to engage with the Ministers of Foreign affairs, the National Security Adviser and the Minister of Defence on the regional implications of developments in neighbouring Chad republic