By Wilfred Eya, Sunday Ani and Chukwudi Nweje and Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said Muhammadu Buhari is dealing with a difficult situation.
State House Correspondents after meeting with the President Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, over the worsening insecurity in the country.
He said Buhari listened to ideas and was eager to have a solution to the crisis, hence the special ad-hoc committee, which involves all principal officers and 30 other members of the House.
On the purpose of the visit, Gbajabiamila said: “We will always speak about security because that’s number one. We speak about the security situation, we speak about the economy, will speak about the politics of it all and at least he has a listening ear. We proffer ideas, you know, he tells us his own views, and we come to some consensus, one way or the other.
“The president is dealing with a difficult situation and he is as passionate as anybody else to bring it to closure and we are here to help him bring it to closure.”
The speaker also assured that the legislature would do all that is necessary to assist the president to reach a consensus on the situation.
He said: “You are aware that the House of Representatives, some time ago, passed a resolution and we set up an ad-hoc committee, a special ad-hoc committee, which involves all principal officers and 30 other members of the House and we’re going to start that process looking at the different solutions and we’ll be bringing the reports to Mr. President.
“He is fully aware of it and he’s opened to anything and everything. That will help us in coming to a resolution in this matter.”
Meanwhile, prominent Nigerians and groups including Ohanaeze, Middle Belt Forum, Coalition of Northern Youth Groups and Arewa Youth Consultative Forum have decried the deteriorating security situation. They all called on the government to immediately halt the situation.
While some said the government has totally lost control of the security situation, others attributed it to lack of capacity and political will by President Buhari’s administration.
Ohanaeze expressed concern about the security situation, particularly recent development in the South East.
National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Alex Chidozie Ogbonna regretted that before now, the South East was the safest zone in Nigeria.
He, however, said: “But I believe that government would soon be able to halt the situation. We have not been used to this level of insecurity and that is why many are surprised.
“However, several efforts are being made to check insecurity in the country. In the East. For instance, Ebubeagu, a security outfit has been launched and bills are being sent to the various state assemblies to back it up with a law/ So, I believe all these would stop with time.”
National Publicity secretary, Middle Belt Forum, Dogo Isuwa, said the government has the capacity to protect lives and property but noted that the armed forces were not given the enabling environment and the kind of cooperation that could enable them carry out their duties.
He warned that unless the government takes steps that would ensure the problems are resolved, there would be no solution.
“The issue of tribalism and religion cannot and will never solve the problem,” he added.
President of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima, also believes that government can protect the lives and property of citizens but only needs the will power to do that.
Former President of Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike said the administration of President Buhari has failed in its responsibilities and might even be complicit in the ugly development.
“I don’t know the people master-minding the insecurity in the land, but I want to remind people that we lived through the Gen Sani Abacha years and it took the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa Panel to expose who was behind all the insecurity then. As far as I’m concerned, something is happening in this country and it is too bad if the government knows what is happening but prefers to look the other way. Some people are creating a sense of insecurity just for the purpose of creating opportunities for themselves.”
Taking a similar position, former chairman of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, said the current administration has zero capacity to manage or contain insecurity. He added that the situation has been worsened by President Buhari’s incapacity and lack of presence.
“Only a fool will still believe that the government is still up to the task. The Buhari administration has worsened the insecurity. Before 2015, we never heard of Boko Haram attacking military formations the way they are doing today. This government has zero capacity to manage or contain insecurity, not to talk of overcoming it and it is bad news for everybody.”