The Senate on Wednesday, February 10, debated a motion on insecurity in the country, and asked the presidency to rejig the country’s weak security structure.
Following the debate on the motion sponsored by Sen Boroffice Ajayi and 106 others; the Senate urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the National Security Adviser; the IGP and also the newly nominated Service Chiefs to devise a proposal to rejig the nation’s security architecture.
Moving the motion, Sen Ajayi cited cases of killings and kidnapping in states Ondo; Edo; Oyo; Imo; Kaduna; Zamfara; Niger; Nasarawa; and other parts of the country.
He also raised alarm on the ethnic dimension of the violence; citing reports of burning down of Fulani settlements in some states.
Sen Ajayi, who is also the Deputy Majority Leader warned the Senate about the activities of “ethnic entrepreneurs and groups posing as ethnic nationalists and champions.”
He also warned that the nation is entering a dangerous phase in its governance trajectory; characterised by manufactured conflicts; fueled by ethnic and religious entrepreneurs with divisive rhetorics; and amplified by irresponsible social media activists and platforms.
Speaking on the motion, Sen Abdulahi Adamu slammed some governors for issuing ultimatums to residents in their states. He also condemned the burning of Fulani settlements.
“There are rights of residence. I don’t understand why a governor of a state will ask people who are not indigenes of his state to leave his state.
While we see in the social media, houses of people that have been burnt who are not from the state.
“I commend Edo State governor who said he will protect every one making a living in his state. We need to find out exactly the truth or otherwise of these allegations of killings as reported.”
In his reaction, the Minority Leader, Sen Enyinnaya Abaribe said it is only criminals that are being cased out of some states.
“No Nigerian is being set away from anywhere, criminals are being sent away from the forest where they are.
When we come here and say such, you send the wrong message out. The message is simple, the police IG has told us, these are criminal elements coming from outside Nigeria and what we should ask ourselves is, if someone is a criminal, and he is in the forest, what is he doing there.
“We should not water down then issue to please whatever. We either want to solve this problem or not and in order to solve the problem, the desideratum is that all criminal elements coming into this county must be flushed out,” he said.
Following the debate, the Senate also resolved to: “the federal government to embark on an operation to checkmate proliferation of firearms and enforce the laws against illegal possession of firearms by arresting, disarming and punishing anyone in illegal possession of arms, and for state governors to implement the National Livestock Transformation Plan – a modern scheme designed to eliminate transhumance in order to prevent farmer-herder conflicts and activate highly productive livestock sector in Nigeria.
“While they called on security agencies to deploy drones and helicopters to monitor forests and ungoverned areas in Nigeria, they asked the federal government to resuscitate and inaugurate the National Task Force Commission to combat the proliferation of light weapons, small arms and ammunition.”