By Henry Umoru
PRESIDENT of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan said Tuesday that the Senate may next week consider the report of an Ad-Hoc Committee on security challenges with a view to finding solutions to Nigeria’s security problems.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja during the consideration of a motion brought to the floor by Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, All Progressives Congress, APC, Adamawa Central, Lawan said that the Senate will engage with the executive arm of government on the resolutions of the Ad-Hoc Committee as contained in its report.
According to him, the Upper Chamber will also work closely with the House of Representatives and Nigerian citizens towards ensuring that solutions are found to the lingering security problems in the country.
Lawan said, “The Senate discussed and debated so much on the insecurity in the country and set up an Ad-Hoc Committee under the leadership of the Senate Leader.
“The Committee is working very hard, we are trying to look for solutions to the insecurity bedeviling the country. We are not going to rest on our oars until we are able to provide solutions.
“This is the essence of our being in government. Of course, it will require that we work with the House of Representatives and the Executive, as well as the citizens because I believe that the citizens have to be taken into confidence in the fight against insecurity.
“So, we will not waste any time, as soon as the report is ready, I believe by next week, probably the report will be ready. We are going to look at the report of the Ad-Hoc Committee and take those important and very viable resolutions, and engage with the executive arm of government.
“I think we are on the same page with the executive arm of government, everybody is worried, and we will do whatever it takes, and I normally say, if we have to invest so much money, so be it, because there’s nothing more important than life, even infrastructure.
“Life is more important than anything, so we need to protect the lives of Nigerians who have sent us here.”
Recall that the Senate had on January 29, 2020, set up the Ad-Hoc Committee chaired by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, to interface with the security agencies on the level of insecurity in the country and report back to the upper chamber within two weeks.
Earlier in her presentation, Senator Aishatu Ahmed who came under a point of order on matter of urgent public importance, took a swipe at attacks on Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa Senatorial District by an insurgent group armed with seven gun-trucks and motorcycles on February 21, 2020.
According to her, three soldiers were killed in the dastardly attacks, while properties worth millions of naira were burnt or destroyed including: public hospital, school, telecommunication facilities, Police stations and so on.
Senator Ahmed said that the Garkida crises, which has led to the destruction of lives and propriety, was planned by insurgents to have a religious connotation considering that churches and residences of some prominent indigenes were burnt, an act aimed at destroying the foundation of peaceful co-existence among Garkida community and Adamawa state as a whole.”
She warned, “As a result of this, the urgent need to take more drastic actions in the face of such affront on the national security architecture, the region and indeed the entire nation is long overdue.
“In view of the enormity of the situation, the Federal Government needs to put more innovative measures in place to frontally confront these challenges.”
Consequently, the Senate resolved that the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, should re-establish a military command base in Garkida and also all major settlements bordering the Sambisa forrest.
The Senate called on the North East Development Commission, NEDC to immediately embark on rehabilitation of public and religious institutions destroyed and provide assistance to other individuals affected.
The Upper Chamber also urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently assess the extent of damage and provide relief materials immediately to Garkida community.
Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday considered a bill seeking to establish the Federal College of Education, Ibokun, Osun State.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi (APC – Osun East).
In his lead debate, the lawmaker attributed the need for the establishment of the Institution to the failure of students in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) exams, which according to Fadahunsi, was largely due to absence of good, qualified and well trained teachers in Nigeria.
“As a nation, we have experienced poor performance of our students in WAEC and NECCO examinations year in year out due to absence of quality teachers in our secondary schools. I must say that the passage of this bill is the perfect answer to this.
“Undoubtedly, the realization that Colleges of Education are tools for National development, have led to an unbridled quest for, and vigorous expansion is Colleges of Education in Nigeria,” Fadahunsi said.
The bill, which scaled second reading, was referred by the Senate President to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.