Insecurity: Reps move to amend relevant security laws
• Ask service chiefs to either resign over unsatisfactory performance
The House of Representatives on Thursday unveiled plans to amend extant sections of the Acts of Parliament regulating the operations of security agencies in Nigeria with the address the lapses within the country’s security architecture as well as put an end to the spate of increase in killings, kidnapping and armed banditry attacks across Nigeria.
The resolution was passed after robust debate on a motion of urgent sponsored by Hon. Sada Soli, who called on the Service Chiefs including: the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), the Inspector General of Police (IGP) as well as the Director-General (DG) of the Department of State Services (DSS) to continue to brief the House monthly on steps being made and effected to decisively tackle the situation until normalcy is restored.
Other lawmakers who spoke in favour of the motion are: Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, Hon. Adejare Samuel, Hon. Emeka Azubogu, Hon. Abubakar Yalleman, Hon. Ifeanyi Momah, Hon. Isiaka Ayokunle, Hon. Ademorin Kuye, Hon. Ahmad Abdullahi, Hon. Chinyere Igwe, Hon. Lanre Olanrewaju, Hon. Igariwey Enwo, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu and Hon. Dennis Amadi.
In his lead debate, Hon. Soli who observed that the security situation in some parts of the country has degenerated to the extent that criminal activities have become a daily occurrence in many states of the country.
In the bid to address the situation, Hon. Soli underscored the need for the present administration to demonstrate sufficient political will to enforce the right resolutions made on the floor of the House, just as he called on the Service Chiefs to be patriotic and either does the job for which they are being paid or resign.
While calling for a more sustained tempo on security interventions to keep such criminals at bay, the lawmaker noted that the unabated nature of these attacks in the North West and North Central geopolitical zones may trigger food insecurity as farmers are afraid of going to their farms amidst the prevailing situation.
In his remarks, Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Hon. Babajimi Benson, who stated that the Military might not quell the effects of economic problems, observed that the economic issues should be effectively tackled.
During their separate presentation, Hon. Robert Aondona and the Deputy Majority Whip, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyeajeocha who wondered why those who have failed in ensuring the security of the nation sit tight even after failing the country and still refuse to resign, called for a drastic overhaul of the Nigerian security machinery as it has become highly ineffective.
Also speaking, Hon. Dennis Amadi who called for the positive engagement of the teeming youth of the country as their frustration seems to be akin to a keg of gunpowder that can explode at any time, expressed frustration at the way youth with ideas cannot get capital for business unless they possess huge collateral or influential relations, showing a case of dire hopelessness for normal ingenious intellectuals or proposed entrepreneurs.
On her part, Hon. Omowumi Olubunmi who beckoned all the Security Chiefs and other security agencies to be more proactive in discharging their duties, urged the House leadership to interface with the security agencies as the spate of insecurity lately has become unbearable.
In his presentation, Hon. Bamidele Salam who argued that the Police which should be the ones maintaining national peace have been overwhelmed, called on the principal actors in the Executive arm of government to change tactics in dealing with the criminals, as the normal way seems not to be working.
Hon. Salam also decried the rise in drug use amongst Nigerian youth, attributing it as a catalyst and motivation for this sustained lawless kind of lifestyle.
On his part, Hon. Muntari Mohammed stated that the way and manner the security agencies are handling the banditry situation is unfortunate, as they also constitute a hardship to the communities as a result of extortion.
He lamented how people are being kidnapped and harassed unabated by criminals and that the security agents seem not to have a clue on how to contain them. He called for the change of the service chiefs which is long overdue.
While venting his view, Hon. Ibrahim Malle wondered why kidnappers who use mobile phones to communicate with the families of their victims cannot be traced and apprehended when the ministry of communication has assured Nigerians that all mobile lines have been duly registered.
While stressing the need for the implementation of appropriated funds for the procurement of the security equipment for which they are appropriated, Hon. Victor Mela stated that the resignation of the service chiefs is long overdue as the issue of security should not be trifled with.
He expressed the desire to resign his membership of the House in two months if nothing serious is done in the case of security, as he cannot in good faith continue to contribute to meaningful and far-reaching resolutions which are never implemented by those who seem not to be touched by the plights of the suffering Nigerians.
In his intervention, Hon. Kazaure Gudaji called on the government to show the same seriousness attached to battling the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the administration of the social safety nets should be attached to combatting the problem of insecurity.
He also called on the Department of State Services to be more proactive and responsive to intelligence gathering and dissemination to the police to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians, especially as those who are usually targeted are rural farmers and cattle herders.
On his part, Hon. Abass Adekunle called for more manpower recruitment into the armed forces and security agencies, as they seem to be overwhelmed with the population and a landmass of Nigeria, just as he advocated for state police so that the police can be more in communication/ tandem with the communities within which they operate.
In his contribution, the Majority Whip, Hon. Mohammed Monguno stated with profound sadness that some people in a community in Borno State were recently attacked by criminals masquerading as Boko Haram insurgents and had to defend themselves.
He therefore called for the emulation of the Chadian example whose president, former military personnel had to personally lead the armed forces to stamp out insecurity Boko Haram out of Chad.
Also speaking, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase who expressed profound sadness at the rising state of criminality across the country, wondered why the security agencies which have huge funds appropriated to them cannot effectively bring the problem of criminality and insurgency to a halt.
While noting that there seems to be no synergy between the different security agencies, as well as between the security agencies and the communities in which they operate, Hon. Wase called for the implementation of drastic measures to tackle insurgency as those at the head of security who should be saddled with national security seem not to be doing their job.
He called for the briefing of the House by the heads of the security forces why the problem seems unsolvable.
In his intervention, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila stated that there is poverty all over the world, so financial lack is not an excuse for criminality, and that the armed forces have a role of suppressing internal aggression.
In the bid to tackle the challenges headlong, he called on Chairmen of the relevant House Committees on Security Matters to code the take-aways of the robust debate into legislative forms by ensuring that all the contributions showcasing lapses in the relevant sections of the Acts regulating the security agencies are effectively amended for proactive implementation.
While ruling, the Speaker mandated the relevant House Committees to report back to the House for further legislative action.