From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate, yesterday, told President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on security nationwide. It said any further delay will not be good for the country.
It made the call, following a point of order by Sani Musa, on the abduction of students and staff of Government Science Secondary School in Kagara, Niger State in the early hours of yesterday.
Musa said the terrorists were dressed in military camouflage. He revealed the actual number of students abducted were not known but that the school had over 1,000 students as at the time of the attack. He said security agencies had explained they were on the trail of the terrorists.
During the debate, the Senate demanded the implementation of its ad hoc committee resolution on security and urged the military and the police to set up an operation to route out criminal camps across the country.
Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, from Niger State, said the kidnappers and bandits were emboldened by the successes being recorded in the state in recent time as about 100 people had so far been kidnapped.
He said the forest, from the FCT, which extends to Niger up to Zamfara State, was being used by the criminals.
He said the fact that the bandits have invaded Niger State was an indication that safety of lives and property of FCT residents is being threatened.
Bima Enagi, also from Niger State, declared the Buhari administration was incapable of handling security challenges in the country.
“The enemies of God, bandits, terrorists, kidnappers are everywhere. Where are we heading to in this country? What else do we need as lawmakers that we are not doing? Can we rightly say the government is incompetent? Because this issue has been discussed here over and over and there is no improvement. It is getting worse, I’m sure everybody here has stories to tell about the security challenges. What else are we supposed to do that we are not doing? Are we supposed to amend the laws in this country to give every citizen freedom to carry arms?
“Are we going to amend the constitution to give more powers to the governors who are the security heads in their various states. Our government at the centre is showing incompetence in handling insecurity because it is not his son or his daughter that has been kidnapped. I expect everybody in government to think like that.”
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, described the kidnap of the students as unfortunate. He, however, said the security agencies had challenges of personnel and funds.
He said: “Abduction of students from school happen in northern part of Nigeria. With incidences like this, parents would be scared to take their wards to schools and the efforts of the past and present leaders at providing education would be defeated. Service chiefs have to secure the schools and carry the states along.”