*** Lawan, Gbajabiamila to meet Buhari over spate of insecurity
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, having taken a cursory look at the modus operandi and actions of the Boko Haram, said on Thursday that the group has stopped being a religious sect and has now become merchandized as a big industry.
Speaking in Abuja, Lawan said that Boko Haram now consists of people from different religions and from different countries.
The President of the Senate spoke after the presentation of a motion on the resurgence of killings in Borno North by Boko Haram insurgents.
The motion was sponsored by Senator Abubakar Kyari, All Progressives Congress, APC, Borno North and Co-sponsored by Senators Kashim Shettima, APC – Borno Central and Ali Ndume, APC Borno South.
Meanwhile, the Senate has resolved that Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, will meet with President Buhari to discuss security challenges arising from the activities of Boko Haram insurgents and bandits in parts of the country.
Lawan in his remarks said, “Boko Haram has metamorphosed from a group of religious zealots into an industry. It is an industry because what they do is not religious. They have people from different faiths and countries who are part of Boko Haram.
Lawan who lamented how the activities of Boko Haram had persisted despite so many resolutions and efforts by the Senate to stop them, said, “This senate passed so many resolutions including the reports of the various ad-hoc committees we set up, senator Kabiru Gaya once headed a committee on insecurity and he toured many parts of the northwest then I also chaired another committee with public hearing and everything with all the service chiefs were invited but it has persisted.
“I don’t want to say meeting the President is something that we have to reveal if we do, but of course it is natural that issues like this will be of interest for us to discuss with the President, and we have been doing that.
“What is necessary is for us to persist. Our Armed Forces have their challenges, and therefore, we will continue to look at those challenges and try to address them.
“However, where anybody is found wanting, our stand should be that people should occupy offices based on their performance.
“There’s no point if somebody is not registering successes for such person to continue to be there, but that is if you give that person the necessary tools to fight. So, we should give them the necessary tools and then we hold them accountable.
“We will do that in addition to of course meeting Mr. President, it is not going to be the Senate President, I’ll make sure that I have my colleague in the House of Representatives because this is a national question.”
Earlier, Kyari while relying on order 42 and 52 of the Senate standing rules, lamented the killing of ninety persons which included women and children on Tuesday 9th June, 2020, by Boko Haram insurgents following an attack on Foduma Kolum village of Gubio Local Government.
The lawmaker who further bemoaned the resurgence of what he described as “senseless killings” by the insurgents in recent weeks, said seventeen people were killed in Gajiagana, Magimeri local government on 17th May, 2020; and another thirty-three persons killed in Nganzai local government on 22nd May, 2020.
According to him, “these attacks are becoming very worrisome in view of the fact that the Nigerian Armed Forces recently started recording successes in the fight against insurgency.”
Kyari raised alarm that, “these attacks which have led to the massacre of hundreds of people, also includes other Winona acts such as cattle rustling, kidnapping, abduction and forceful displacement of people from their ancestral communities.”
He further expressed concern that “with the coming of the rains and farming season, the land is terribly insecure with marauding insurgents at bay. The consequences of food shortage can better be imagined.”
In his contribution, former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume (APC – Borno South) who lamented the inability of the Armed Forces to completely cripple insurgent activities in the North-East, however, called on the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and his counterpart in the House of Representatives to meet with President Buhari to discuss the spate of insecurity in northern Nigeria.
Senator Ndume said “We have been doing this for the past eleven years that is since 2009 when this started. In 2015, we had some kind of relief when this government took over. But it is not over until it is completely over.
“The problem is not restricted to the North East. We have banditry re-insurging every time and increasing; we have issues of banditry and herdsmen conflict in the North Central and other security challenges.
“What I will suggest is that Mr president you have to step a step further. It is not just this motion, I think you need to see the President and talk one on one on this issue.”
Accordingly, the Senate urged the Federal Government to direct, as a matter of urgency, the Nigerian Armed Forces and relevant security agencies to beef up personnel and equipment deployment to critical areas especially in and around the Lake Chad shores in order to flush out the insurgents.
The Upper chamber has called on the Federal Government to direct the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to immediately send relief materials to the victims of these attacks.
The Senate also urged the Federal Government to immediately begin the implementation of the recommendations of the “Report of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Nigeria Security Challenges: Need to Restructure, Review, and are-Organize the Current Security Architecture” as way of addressing the nations current security challenges.
The Senate observed a one-minute silence in honour of those who lost their lives in the attacks by insurgents.