*** Condemns Fasoranti daughter’s murder
*** As Senators Condemn the rate of killings in the country.
By Henry Umoru
The Senate today, said it would hold what it described as an all-inclusive and encompassing National Security Summit that would come up with very robust and far-reaching resolutions on how to nip in the bud, the current security challenges across the country.
This was disclosed yesterday by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan after deliberations on a point of order raised by Senator Ayo Akinyelure, PDP, Ondo Central on the ‘State of Insecurity in the nation and Gruesome Murder of Mrs. Funke Olakurin who is the daughter of the Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti by yet to be identified gunmen.
Lawan who described the situation as unfortunate, however, lamented that insecurity of lives and property has spread to other parts of the country.
The Summit will be coming 17 months after the Eighth Senate had organised a similar one where the Present President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan as Senate Leader was the Chairman of the Senate.
It would be recalled that the Summit which held from February 8 to 12, 2019 in Abuja was organised by the National Assembly with the aim to proffer solutions to the growing rate of insecurity in the country.
The summit which held from February 8 to 12 in Abuja was organised by the National Assembly with the aim to proffer solutions to the growing rate of insecurity in the country.
Also recall that after the former Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, APC, Yobe North) presented the report to the Senate, the report which had twenty recommendations were in July 2018 was adopted by the Senators where the lawmakers had called
on the federal government to make more recruitments into the various security agencies in the country as the current personnel are overstretched.
In the report, the Senate also called for low-interest-rate loans for herders to develop ranching businesses in the country as well as integrate the Almajiri system with the formal educational system.
Speaking further yesterday, President of the Senate said, “The situation in the country is perverse. Every part of the country has one story or the other to tell on the situation. It is the duty of the Senate to hold an all-inclusive national summit on security.
“The executive arm should also be involved because we have to work together to address the situation. The various intervention at the end of the day will bring the desired results. ”
“Some of our colleagues in their presentations suggested the convocation of a robust security summit on the security situation of the country. The national committee on security will address the situation.”
The Senate has also mandated the Inspector – General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu and all the service chiefs to spread their dragnet to ensure that the killers of Olakunrin and other innocent Nigerians were apprehended and brought to justice.
The Upper Chamber has also urged the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA to accelerate action in fixing major federal highways where criminal elements usually hide to kidnap and kill innocent Nigerians.
The Senate has also asked the local and state governments to cooperate and collaborate with relevant agencies with needed logistics in their respective areas, even as it directed the Budget office and the Senate Committee on Appropriation when constituted, to make adequate funds available in the 2020 budget for the joint operation of the armed forces and other security agencies.
The senators thereafter observed a one minute silence in honour of the late Mrs Olakunrin and commiserated with her family especially her nonagenarian father on the gruesome murder.
The Senate asked the Federal Government to know that the prevailing insecurity was creating problems of social protection with attendant effects on the nation’s economy since no foreign investors would be interested in a country with a prevailing breakdown of law and order.
Akinyelure who came under Order 42, 52 of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 as Amended in his presentation drew the attention of his colleagues to the state of insecurity in the nation.
According to him, the nature of insecurity in the country has claimed many lives including that of Mrs Olakunrin who was killed by armed gang at Kajola on the Benin-Ore-Sagamu Road on July 12.
The Senator who lamented the deplorable state of insecurity in the country leading to the kidnapping and killing of innocent citizens by some criminals on the major highways, however noted with concern that the rising level of insecurity along the Ife-Ilesha-Akure Road, Kaduna-Abuja expressway, Akure-Owo- Ikare- Okene Road, Akure-Ikere Ekiti Road, some parts of Edo State and other major highways in the eastern part of the country as widely reported in the media.
Akinyelure noted that many travellers on Nigerian roads no longer feel secure because of what he described as fear of attacks by gunmen who carry assault on innocent people on the road on daily basis, adding that it has become most unsafe for users of flashy cars to travel from Akure to Abuja because of the fear of being attacked on the major highways which are full of potholes.
According to the Senator, the development has forced many people to embrace travelling by flight which had made the Airline operators increase their fare for 50 minute flights from about N20, 000 to N45, 000 in recent times, adding that the high rate of insecurity has reached an alarming rate and had significantly eroded peace and free movement of people and that it was causing palpable fear and tension.
Akinyelure stressed that the situation may soon lead to what he termed, a break down of law and order and ethno-communal clashes in the southern part of the country if adequate measures are not taken to fish out the perpetrators of the criminal act and bring them to book accordingly.
The Senator said, “Despite the assurances received from the security agencies, that they are on top of the situation, the existing security measures in place have not satisfactorily addressed the security challenges in many parts of the country.”
In his contribution, Senator Tolu Odebiyi, APC, Ogun West who seconded the motion, however, stressed that the Senate must not fold its arms and watch Nigerians lose their lives daily to either to kidnappers or to bandits, adding that there must immediately demand action from necessary authorities to end the menace.
The Senator said, “Nigeria cannot get it right as a nation if the issue of insecurity is not tackled. Just last week, the headquarters of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement has been taken to Ghana and this has a major economic impact on our nation.
“These are the implications of what happens when a nation fails to get its security situation right. We are mourning daily as innocent lives are being taken and the government is not doing about it.”
Also contributing, the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Borrofice, APC, North, however, warned Nigerians against targeting a particular group as the perpetrators of the heinous act, even as he said that it was not a targeted killing, but a chance occurrence which can happen to anybody.
He, however, supported Vice – President Yemi Osinbajo over his call for community police, stressing that the Federal Government should also intensify efforts towards job creation in the country.
Senator Borrofice said, “What I don’t want to subscribe to is to say that the act was perpetrated by a particular group of people. From the various reports that we have received in this chamber, Igbo have been killed, Hausa have been killed, Fulani has been killed and Yoruba have been killed also.
“We must therefore not succumb to the insinuations that what is happening in Nigeria is being perpetrated by a particular ethnic group, The perpetrators of a kidnap incident in Ondo State recently were indigenes of the state.”
He supported Vice – President Yemi Osinbajo over his call for community police and that the Federal Government should also intensify efforts in the area of job creation.
On his part, Senator Nicholas Tofowomo, PDP, Ondo South who lamented that Nigeria’s internal security was in shambles and nothing to write home about, however, called for a robust internal security summit because the country cannot be talking of the next level without security.”
He said, “We don’t even have any internal security. So, we cannot be talking about the next level. We need a robust conference on our security arrangement in this country because.”
Other senators who contributed to the debate agreed that the security situation in the country has worsened and required urgent intervention by the three arms of government and the entire citizenry.