.Charges DHQ to investigate Auno attack
The Senate has told President Muhamadu Buhari in his capacity as Commander – in Chief of the Armed Forces to weild the big stick by holding security chiefs accountable for the continued security infractions in the country.
The President was asked to relieve the security heads of their positions if they can no longer proffer solution to the wanton destruction of lives, properties and economic activities by incessant security challenges that has bedeviled the country.
This followed the killing of not less than 30 persons in Auno, Borno State on Sunday by Boko Haram insurgents.
Former goveror of Borno State, Senator Kassim Shettima, representing Borno Central, raised a point of order on the floor of the Senate on Thursday calling attention to a general siege on Borno and the Auro attack in particular.
The Senate charged the defence headquarters to investigate the dastardly act and urged military and security agencies to reengineer or rejig their approach towards fighting insurgency.
The lawmakers urged the Federal Government to begin rehabilitation of the affected communities and also urged the military operatives to launch a base in Auno to intensify efforts in the fight against insurgency in the North East.
Also, the Senate urged the Federal Government through National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to send relief items to the affected families.
This is even as the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who presided over the plenary, said there is need for a better structure and architecture for the security to provide the necessary service that the nation’s need.
Lawan said: “Time has come for us to ensure that governance is done like it is business. You employ someone, give the person a target. He accepts on the basis of the fact that he can meet the target. If he doesn’t meet the target and there is no cogent explanation or reasons why he fails, then he should go. When we hold people responsible, they are likely to perform better.
“I want to assure all of us here that we are on the same page with the executive arm of government and everyone is worried. I believe that we are all agreed that the security architecture as presently constituted and designed is simply not giving the outcome we want and we need. Going forward, we have to find a better structure and architecture for our security to provide the necessary service that we need”.
Contributing, the former governor of Benue State, Senator Gabriel Suswam, said that it is time security issue is approached differently.
He said: “From the inception of this 9th assembly, what has preoccupied us if we check statistics, is the issue of security that has cropped up on a daily basis. It is high time we approach this differently and let us call a spade a spade.
“We must move beyond talking on the floor here of massive killings of our people. We talk about security, security, security. We cannot continue. In the past we have heard that Boko Haram has been exterminated and it came from the military that they have finished with Boko Haram.
“I think that beyond mere propaganda, let us address this issue by going to the source. It is not about intelligence, we don’t lack intelligence. These people come in trucks and people who come with trucks cannot be invisible. They come in trucks and they are well armed. We should move beyond observing one minute silence.”
Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe pointed out that if the lawmakers are going to observe one minute for every victim of those who have died in the carnage all these time, they are probably going to stand for 28 or 29 days.
He said: “I want to comment on just an aspect of the prayers which is for us to do one minute silence for the victims of the Auno attack. I was just sitting down here with Senator Aduda and I was calculating how many minutes in a day and how many victims we have and just to point out a very poignant fact that if we stand here for one minute for every victim of those who have died in this carnage all these time, we are going to probably stand for 28 or 29 days, we will be standing just because of people who have died. We must take note of that.”
Also on Thursday, a bill for an Act to repeal the Police Act Cap P19 passed second reading on the floor of the Senate.
The bill provides for a framework for the Police Service and ensure partnership with communities.
Sponsored by Senator representing Bauchi Central, Jika Dauda, the proposed amendment is meant to provide an efficient framework for the Police Service.
In his lead debate, Senator Dauda said the bill became necessary to provide for the Police Service and ensure cooperation between the police communities in maintaining peace and combating crime.
Sen. Surajudeen Ajibola (Osun Central) said the bill should give specific tenure and condition for the removal of Inspector General who has always been in power on the mercy of the president, adding that this will make the IGP committed to his constitutional duties.
Sen. Bala Ibn N’allah said with new structure put in place and adequate funding from the Police Trust Fund, the Police will be refurbished.
He said “this bill must work and this country will benefit from the implementation”.
Sen. Ishaku Abbo (Adamawa North) said the police as it is now is under – staffed, under – funded and under – eqiupped and he recommended police training school in each police command.
Sen. Rochas Okorocha (Imo West) said “solutions to Nigerian security challenges could be very simple. The relationship or partnership between the police and the community is the best way to go”.
Commenting on the bill, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, noted that increasing funding for the police will not be effective unless the force is restructured and adequately equipped.
The Senate President also said employing more officers will go a long way in drastically reducing the level of insecurity in the country.
The bill was referred to Senate Committee on Police Affairs to report back in four weeks for further legislative input.