…Says they must be sacked, time has come for Nigeria as a country to ensure that governance is done as business
…We must Go to the Source, move away from mere propaganda, Suswam
By Henry Umoru
FOLLOWING the killings of 30 Persons and destruction of properties on Sunday night by Boko Haram insurgents who invaded Auno, a village which is 20 Kilometres from Borno State capital, Maiduguri, the Senate Thursday condemned in very strong terms, the dastardly act perpetuated by the insurgents, saying that people must be held responsible if they fail to effectively carry out their responsibilities to nip in the bud, the Security challenges in the country.
Speaking Thursday in Abuja, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan said that the time has come for Nigeria as a country to ensure that governance is done as business, adding that when one is engaged by the government and failed to give the authority a target and cannot explain why reasonably why he failed, that person must be sent packing.
Lawan spoke after deliberation on a point of Order by Senator Kassim Shettima, All Progressives Congress, APC, Borno Central on the invasion of Auno, a village which is 20 Kilometres from Borno State capital, Maiduguri, where over 30 persons were killed.
The President of the Senate said, “I want to assure all of us here that we are on the same page with the executive arm of government and everyone is worried. I believe that we are all agreed that the security architecture as presently constituted and designed is simply not giving the outcome we want and we need. Going forward, we have to find a better structure and architecture for our security to provide the necessary service that we need.
“Time has come for us to ensure that governance is done like it’s business, you employ someone, give the person a target. He accepts on the basis of the fact that he can meet the target. If he doesn’t meet the target and there is no cogent explanation or reasons, why he fails, then he should go.
“When we hold people responsible, they are likely to perform better.”
Meanwhile, the Senate after the debate has urged the military and security agencies to reengineer and or rejig their approach towards fighting insurgency, just as it asked the Federal Government to begin a rehabilitation of the affected Communities.
The Upper Chamber has also called on the military operative to launch a base in Auno to intensify efforts in the fight against insurgency in the north east as well as mandated the defence Headquarters to find out what transpired in Auno.
While the Senate observed a minute silence in honour of those who died, it has also urged the Federal Government to through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA to the Ministry Humanitarian Affairs to send relief items to the affected families.
Contributing to the point of Order, Senator Gabriel Suswam, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Benue North East said that as a country, we must go to the Source of insecurity in Nigeria by moving away from what he described as mere propaganda, adding that if the challenges must be nipped in the bud, the government must be prepared to hold the bull by the horn.
Senator Suswam said, “From the inception of this 9th assembly, what has preoccupied us if we check statistics, is the issue of security that has cropped up on a daily basis. It is high time we approach this differently and let us call a spade a spade.
“We must move beyond talking on the floor here of massive killings of our people. We talk about security, security, security. We cannot continue.
“In the past we have heard that Boko Haram has been exterminated and they come from the military that they have finished with Boko Haram.
“I think that beyond mere propaganda, let us address this issue by going to the source. It is not about intelligence, we don’t lack intelligence. These people come in trucks and people who come with trucks cannot be invisible. They come in trucks and they are well armed. We should move beyond observing one minute silence.”
On his part, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Abia South said, “I want to comment on just an aspect of the prayers which is for us to have one minute silence for the victims of the Auno attack.
” I was just sitting down here with Senator Aduda and I was calculating how many minutes in a day and how many victims we have and just to point out a very poignant fact that if we stand here for one minute for every victim of those who have died in this carnage all these time, we are going to probably stand for 28 or 29 days, we will be standing just because of people who have died. We must take note of that.”
Earlier in his presentation, Senator Shettima who came under Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Orders as Amended, urged the Senate to note that Borno Central Senatorial District, Borno State and the North East as a whole has been the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency over the years.
The Senator further lamented that the Boko Haram terrorists swooped on Auno village, which is about three kilometers from Maiduguri at 10pm on Sunday 9th February 2020.
According to the former governor of Borno State, during the attack, the insurgents killed 30 people, burnt shops and razed about 18 commercial vehicles, including trucks loaded with goods and abducted many people comprising women and children.
Senator Shettiama further lamented that the victims arrived at the military checkpoint leading into Maiduguri after the 5pm deadline for the closure of the gate and had no choice but to sleep in Auno, a neighboring Village on the Damaturu Maiduguri highway.
He urged his colleagues to be disturbed that the military usually lock up the gate in the village, both the entrance and exit gates, by 5pm and proceed to spend the night in Maiduguri despite its closeness to Maiduguri.
Shettima said: “Further disturbed that there was no single military personnel to engage them and there was also no reinforcements from Maiduguri inspite of the proximity of Auno to the headquarters of Operation Lafia Dole.
“Note that while the people of Auno were still in shock over the attack, the insurgents around 6pm Monday 10th February, 2020, struck the village of Tumushe, in Konduga Local Government, shooting sporadically and sending the people into panic.
“And just last evening, there was pandemonium in some areas in Maiduguri because of an attempted incursion by the Boko Haram insurgents into Maiduguri.
“A crack team of the Nigeria police, Civil Defence Corps and the civilian JTF were able to repel the attack.
“At the risk of sounding self-serving, my boss the Borno State Governor, Professor Zullum was in the hospital up to the wee hours of this morning attending to the sick and the wounded.”
He added: “I do not want to grandstand and I wish to call on our colleagues who may likely make contribution on this issue not to grandstand.
“I can easily play to the gallery, get momentary applause, pour venoms on Buhari, lampoon the Federal Government, but will it achieve the desired result?
“Unless we suffer from memory amnesia, it was under this same Buhari that between 2015 and 2017 we had a momentary respite before the current relapse. Times like this call for sobriety, maturity, circumspection and unity.”