From Fred Itua and Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, has bemoaned the spate of insecurity across the country, saying nowhere is safe for citizens, including Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“The current (security) situation is now frightening as there is now nowhere to go and nowhere to hide as the FCT, the seat of government is now under siege. The security concerns has crippled the economy and key sectors, notably agriculture”, describing it as unfortunate.
He made the lamentation, yesterday, during a meeting between the leadership of the Senate and heads of various military formations, security chiefs and intelligence agencies.
Lawan told heads of the country’s security outfits that there was nothing to show as dividend for the huge investments in security, given the rising spate of attacks, which he said was an indication that the nation does not have security at all.
“Let me say this, Senate, particularly and indeed even the previous sessions of the National Assembly generally, have shown serious commitment and partnership with the executive arm of government. As far as I can remember, there has never been an administration in this country, especially since the fourth republic started in 1999, that invested so much resources in the security of this country like this present administration. I have no doubt about it. I’m a participant. To a very large extent, I can say that none,” he said.
Present at the meeting were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, army, navy and air force service chiefs, Inspector General of Police, heads NIA and DSS and Commandant General of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC). National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd), was represented.
Last week, senators, predominantly from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had threatened to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari if he failed to address the situation. He was given six weeks ultimatum.
Lawan said insecurity was of concern to all Nigerians and that the senate before it went on recess last week Wednesday, held discussions on the situation. He said the legislative arm had givel all support to the executive to protect the country, but queried the failure to stem the spate of insecurity by security agencies.
“We believe that as a National Assembly, we have always met this Executive at the right position, at the right time, most especially when it concerns investment in the security of life and property in Nigeria.
“We have also, in our individual capacities as committees of the National Assembly and in fact as a National Assembly shown concern about the security situation.
“And the security situation of any country cannot be one hundred percent satisfactory, but of course there is a level at which no country can be comfortable with insecurity.
“Ours has lingered definitely. We had hoped that by this time, the security situation in Nigeria would have been far better and Nigeria would have made more progress, not only in the area of security, but also in the area of economy which is tied to the security situation again.”
Lawan tasked the security institution to rise to the occasion and protect lives and property.
He said the meeting was called “to look into where we are today and probably this current position where we are is most frightening because it is like there is nowhere to hide, no where to go.
“Insecurity is everywhere and especially, it is coming to the point of dislocating the security situation where the government is quartered. We will really review and see what more we have to do and how differently we have to do…My belief is that we can do better to secure the rural areas. The so-called ungoverned space. At least for our population who go to farms to earn their living…
“We have problem with our economy to some extent because of insecurity. No foreign direct investment or not as much as we would ordinarily attract to our country. Our prayer is to start seeing serious, remarkable and dramatic changes from today.”
In his response, General Irabor said. “I believe that the wisdom of the Senate President and Senate leadership to convene this meeting is borne out of the fact that issues of national security must be seen from a collective perspective and that whatever the situation is, there is always room for rubbing of minds to make contributions to the effect that we have a more secured environment where every Nigerian will have a sense of security in truth, such that our individual and collective aspirations could be achieved.”