Fred Itua, Abuja
Seventeen months after Senate organised a national security summit to address challenges facing the country, the Red Chamber is set to organise a fresh one; to address same issues.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the national security conference would be held in conjunction with the executive arm of government.
In February 2018, the Eighth Senate organised a national security submit and Lawan, who was then senate leader chaired the ad hoc committee.
President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, made a presentation during the conference.
Service and security chiefs also made suggestions on how the security challenges in the country could be addressed.
Lawan presented a report of the conference wto the senate and recommendations were subsequently adopted, after which the report was forwarded to Buhari, for implementation.
Ruling on a motion sponsored by Ayo Akinyelure, from Ondo State, on the killing of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, daughter of leader of the Afenifere Renewal Group, Pa. Reuben Fasoranti, by suspected herdsmen along Ore/Benin highway, last weekend, Lawan said the summit would be all encompassing.
He said: “I believe that the security situation is all the country. We should have a robust national security submit. We need to prepare for a national security submit to address these issues. The security situation in the country is perverse. It will be in the interest of the senate to hold a security submit, in conjunction with the executive arm. All the issues raised here would be included.”
A date is yet to be announced for the summit.
Meanwhile, six months after he was appointed in an acting capacity, barring any last minute changes, Tanko Mohammed will, today, appear before the Senate for confirmatory hearing.
If he scales through, he may be confirmed as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to replace Justice Walter Onnoghen, who has since retired.
In the absence of a substantive committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Mohammed is expected to appear before the Committee of the Whole, presided over by Lawan, who will act as chairman.
Mohammed was appointed in January, following Onnoghen’s suspension. Until his appointment as acting CJN, Tanko was the second most ranking Justice of the Supreme Court.
President Buhari, had last week, written to the Senate, seeking the confirmation of Tanko in line with constitutional provisions.
Senate has also called on the Federal Ministry of Health to establish medical units or trauma centres on major highways to cater for accident victims.
The recommendation followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Suleiman Kwari and 20 others titled: “Need to address the increasing rate of traffic accidents along Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Road.”
In his contribution, Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, blamed the increasing rate of accidents on drivers and lack of road signs along major highways.
Kalu said some drivers usually drink to stupor and then drive recklessly.
He said if drunk driving can be reduced, the rate of accidents would also be minimised.
The former Abia State governor also called on relevant agencies to ensure that road signs are placed at strategic locations on highways; whenever there is any case of road diversion.
Kalu said the poor state of Kaduna road has created diversions, leading to gridlock, accidents and loss of lives and properties and added that lack of fully equipped emergency units on the road, has led to the deaths of accidents victims who ought to have been saved.
“Despite the number or recurring accidents and untold hardship by motorists, Kaduna sector of the Federal Road Safety Commission has only a small emergency unit to attend to accident victims, with only one ambulance.
“Causes of accidents on Nigerian roads include over speeding, dangerous overtaking, over loading, use of expired used tires, reckless driving, phone calls, disregard for traffic rules and regulations…” he said.