Anger in House of Reps over rising killings, insecurity

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THERE was anger in the House of Representatives on Thursday over rising killings and insecurity in the country.

The lawmakers resolved to invite the service chiefs, the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Department of State Services (DSS) Director-General.

They noted that despite their earlier call for the service chiefs’ dismissal, killings have worsened.

The House resolved to engage with all the security agencies monthly.

For over one hour, members took turns to lament the increasing cases of insecurity in the land.

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They kicked against negotiations with bandits by some governors in the north.

While debating a motion by Sada Soli from Katsina State, they said the service chiefs must brief them on efforts to address the security challenges.

To them, the service chiefs, who they said have failed, ought to have honourably resigned their appointments.

A member, Victor Mela from Gombe, threatened to resign if nothing concrete was done in the next two weeks to address the issues.

He said he was tired of observing a minute silence on the floor of the House in honour of victims.

The House had in February asked the President to declare a state of emergency on insecurity and to sack all the service chiefs for not living up to expectation.

On Thursday, the lawmakers devoted time to the “motion of urgent public importance on the need for the relevant security agencies to bring to an end the spate of kidnapping, killings and armed banditry across the country”.

Soli said insecurity in some parts of the country has degenerated, as cases of kidnapping, killings and banditry have become a daily occurrence in Niger, Sokoto, Zamfara Kaduna, Katsina and other states.

According to him, with the persistent attacks by criminals on farming communities, especially in the Northwest and Northcentral, there is a likelihood of serious food shortage.

He claimed that at least 500 primary schools and 2,000 communities have been destroyed across the country by armed criminals.

Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase, said despite military operations across the country, the spate of banditry has worsened.

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The National Assembly, he said, has voted so much money for security operations with nothing to show for it.

Wase decried a lack of collaboration among the security agencies, saying there was no patriotism in the battle against the bandits.

Wase regretted that despite the House passing a vote of no confidence on the Service Chiefs, they were neither sacked nor has anything changed.

“How do we survive as a nation when insecurity has become the order of the day?” he asked.

Many lawmakers, including Mohammed Dandutse, Bello Maigari, Mohammed Kazaure, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, Ahmadu Abdullah, Toby Okechukwu and Chris Emeka reiterated the call for the service chiefs to be dismissed for non-performance.

Dandutse wants vigilante groups to be allowed to secure their communities without interference by security agencies.

Maigari wondered how the high calibre security vehicles commissioned by the President and the billions budgeted for security are used.

Kazaure descried the absence of intelligence, arguing that the DSS has failed to in its duties.

He wondered why bandits would spend several hours ransacking villages, killing and maiming people without security intervention.

“How can the governor of a state be negotiating with bandits with AK47 on their neck? This is a situation of a failed state,” he said.

Onyejeocha said the failed service chiefs must go.

“It is only in Nigeria that you fail and remain in office. We should not celebrate failure and we should be bold enough to tell those who have failed that they have failed, even if that person is your father,” she said.

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Emeka said the nation’s security architecture has expired, adding that people enter the country without proper identification.

Abdullahi accused the executive of failing to act on “precious resolutions” reached by the lawmakers.

“We have been calling for the resignation and dismissal of the service chiefs by the executive but these have been falling on deaf ears.”

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