By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
For its insistence that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, must appear before it, the Arewa Consultative Forum has chided the Senate, describing it as being driven more by ego rather than national interest.
For that reason, the northern group has asked the Senators to leave the IGP alone to do his work of policing Nigeria instead of being constantly harassed and distracted from his core mandate.
The ACF made the demand in a statement signed by its president, Alhaji Yerima Shettima and made available to Vanguard on Sunday.
The group said, “We are seriously disturbed that the Senate as an institution would spend so much time and energy on asking the IGP to appear before it, as if that is the Number One priority of the nation. It is worrisome that this is happening at a time Nigerians were looking forward to the signing of the country’s budget, especially considering the kind of loud complaints everyday about the delay by the Senate to pass the 2018 budget. This delay has sparked loud outcries across the nation, with many Nigerians calling the Senate unprintable names, especially after repeated promises to do so.
“It is indisputable that summoning the IGP is never a priority of the Nigerian electorate and the Senate should kindly consider the unfolding events as needless distractions.
“There are clear legal implications about the Senate’s insistence that the IGP must appear. The recent condemnation of this position of the Senate by Femi Falana (SAN) has portrayed the Senate as an institution run by egos rather than the rule of law, democratic principles and priority needs of the nation.
“We are not happy that it turned out to be so. But we are appalled that it took the public criticism of the Senate by Falana to make the Senate realize the legal implications of their current war against the IGP.
“We have the conviction that if the Senate does not manage its time well, by concentrating on priority needs of our nation, they stand the risk of exhausting the first four years of their law-making existence inviting appointees of the Federal Government, rather than initiating and passing bills and ensuring that the culture of budget delays is discarded.
“Much as we have no quarrel with Senate doing its oversight functions, we are unsettled by the energy and resources being put into bickering with the IGP and taking the nation nowhere. We donot believe that any repetition of the unfortunate bickering between the Senate and EFCC’s Ibrahim Magu or with Col. Hameed Ali of the Customs Service would do this nation any good.
“The consequence of this war on the nation is obvious: the IGP has the militia killings in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Zamfara and Kaduna to face. His hands are already full with these security challenges to be involved with other issues like appearing before a Senate committee. Deaths of innocent citizens are involved and we expect the Senate to consider this sad reality as well as the urgent need for IGP to act fast.
“We urge Nigerians of good conscience to prevail on the Senate to let the IGP confront the killing spree in many States of the country. This is a critical moment in the history of this nation and we cannot afford a bickering while thousands of innocent souls keep on dying from militia attacks.
“We dare say that anything worth doing is worth doing well and so, let the IGP be.”