Justify investment in security, Senate President tasks service chiefs

• Says abductions, killings not acceptable

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has charged the new Service Chiefs to justify huge budgetary allocation for defence by the Federal Government in this year’s budget.

Senator Lawan made the demand in his concluding remarks on Tuesday during the confirmation of the new Service Chiefs by the Senate.

The Senate Joint Committee on Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force led by former Sokoto State governor, Aliyu Wammako, had last week screened the new Service Chiefs at the national assembly.

The confirmed nominees were: Major General Lucky Eluoye Onyenucheya Irabor – Chief of Defence Staff; Major General Ibrahim Attahiru – Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Agambi – Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Alao – Chief of Air Staff.

The President of the Senate maintained that the Parliament was willing at all times to partner with the Executive arm of government by giving legislative backing to all measures that would guarantee the security of lives and property of Nigerians but insisted that heads of security agencies must live up to expectations.

Senator Lawan said the abduction of school students was worrisome and no longer acceptable.

He said: “We in the National Assembly, particularly in the Senate, will continue to support our Armed Forces in whatever way is possible.

“We believe that there is no better investment today in Nigeria, and, indeed at anytime, than investing in the security of our country, to protect the lives and properties of our people.

“And, therefore, we will continue to support them, but we expect excellence. We expect them – our armed forces – to take the fight to the bandits.

“A situation whereby a group of people will go to a school and take over 300 students away on motorcycles is not accepted.

“Kidnapping without a trace is not acceptable. Something has to give because, apparently, this is becoming an industry, some people are benefiting from this and we have to unravel who these people are, and fight bandits and insurgents until we rescue our country.”

The President of the Senate further advised the Service Chiefs to work as a team as he noted that synergy was paramount to forestall a situation where they work at cross purposes.

“Let me also advise the Service Chiefs that there must be an interagency corporation. There must be an Inter-agency corporation, the Army, the Air force, they are supposed to have complementary roles.

“We promise them and indeed Nigerians that we support them in whatever way the parliament can come to their support.”

Earlier while presenting his Committee’s report, Senator Wammako said that the Joint Committee on Defence, Army, Navy and Airforce screened the four nominees and was satisfied with their qualifications, exposures, conducts, characters, experiences and General performances.

The Senator representing Sokoto North said: “the nominees have displayed wide and in-depth knowledge on strategies, tactics and military operations.”

Deputy President of the Senate, Omo Agege in his contribution claimed the change in Service Chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari was in deference to agitations by the National Assembly and Nigerians for a change of the leadership of the military.

He noted that Nigerians have ceaselessly expressed their frustrations over poor performance by the immediate past Service Chiefs.

“Mr President, we are in very perilous times with insurgency in the north-east and banditry in the north-west and north-central most especially.

“For so long, and indeed so many times on this floor, and on the floor of our sister chamber in the House of Representatives, there were serious agitations for changes to be effected in the military leadership of the security agencies.

“Mr President took his time and finally acceded to this request and agitation. In doing so, the President took his time to seek out the very best in the arms services.

“Mr President, the intellect, the achievement and the exploits of these nominees are very well documented in this report.”

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Justify investment in security, Senate President tasks service chiefs

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Justify investment in security, Senate President tasks service chiefs

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