Buhari, Lawan meet over APC crisis, insecurity

Security chiefs should go if incapable - Senate President

President Muhammadu Buhari and Senate President Ahmed Lawan, have met at the presidential villa, Abuja to discuss the raging leadership crisis in the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) as well as the worsening insecurity situation in parts of the north.

Lawan told State House correspondents after the meeting that the crisis in the ruling party may be addressed following the discussion as they believed that instability in the governing party can cause disruption in the country.

He hinted that the party would invoke the provisions of its constitutions to address the enduring crisis.

Asked what he discussed with the president, Lawan said: “I also had the opportunity to talk to my president and my leader about the challenges in the APC. I believe that we have to deal with these challenges, this is the ruling party of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with the president, with the control of the National Assembly, with more governors than any other political party.

“The situation should not, must not be allowed to degenerate further than it has. And I believe that we must go into the constitution of our party and see how we are to address this, but we must not allow this to continue as it is today. Because the stability of APC is the stability of Nigeria.

“This is the party that is running the affairs of this country. So, I believe that we have to sort this out and that will make our work even better and easier when we have a stable party. Because the party is supposed to be part of the apparatus of running government.

“We are supposed to run or operate or implement or execute the manifesto of the party. And therefore the party is so key, so central, so essential to ensuring that government whether on the executive or legislative side, continues to face those issues in the manifesto and of course, the manifesto will be to make Nigeria better.

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“So, I had the opportunity to discuss that with the president who is the leader of the party in Nigeria and by the grace of God in the next few days, we will see certain actions will be taken and we are praying that all our leaders in the party across the country will make every possible effort to get the party reconciled.”

Tribune Online reports that the meeting also dwelt on the heightened insecurity in the country especially in the northern states, as Lawal said that the National Assembly is prepared to receive a supplementary budget to provide funds to fight Boko Haram and banditry.

The Senate President stated: “You know the country is facing very deep and serious security challenges and I have come to discuss with Mr. President what we discussed previously that we should do whatever it takes to improve the security situation in the country.

“And we believe that the senate and indeed the National Assembly is positively disposed to receiving even supplementary budget purposely to address the fundamental needs of the security agencies of our country so that we able to empower them, enable them to fight the Boko Haram in the North East, banditry and other security challenges across the country.

“Secondly, in the Senate, we believe we need to provide more resources for recruitment by the security agencies: Army, the Navy, Air Force, Police, immigration, the paramilitary generally.

“We need to have more manpower or personnel and this is not something you get on a platter of gold. Whoever wants to make an omelette will break an egg.

“Section 14 subsection 2b of the constitution of the Federal Republic Nigeria is very categorical and crystal clear, that the purpose of government shall be to provide for security and welfare of the people.

“Therefore, we must, we have no luxury of any option other than to address the security challenges more than any other thing.

“We provided for N500 billion intervention for COVID-19 in the revised budget, and various agencies, the CBN, the NNPC and the IOCs provided for palliatives and some kind of interventions for the COVID-19 challenge.

“I think we must tell ourselves the truth, that the security situation in the country especially in the northern part of the country, requires that we give much more resources to the security agencies.”

Lawan expressed disappointment with the effort of the security chiefs who he said must sit up as he added that they should quit if they are found wanting.

The Senate President added: “And those who are heading these agencies especially the service chiefs, must sit up, in fact, we must have milestones and timelines on how we are going to deal with this.

“We can’t just go on without any time frame for dealing with these issues.

“If after we provide some support and someone is found short of expectations, he should be shown the way out if he refuses to go. Because the lives of Nigerians are so precious and therefore, must be more important than any other considerations or sentiments.

“I believe that today, the most essential thing in government is to address the security challenges,” Lawan added.

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