Nigeria

Reps invite Buhari over insecurity in Nigeria

Members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday invited President Muhammadu Buhari to brief them on the state of insecurity in the country.

The resolution was passed after the House resumed from executive session sequel to the rowdy session which erupted during the debate on a motion on the “Urgent need to condemn and investigate the insane killing of unarmed farmers in Jere Local Government of Borno State”, sponsored by Hon. Ahmed Satomi, Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Hon. Zainab Gimba, Hon. Muktar Betara, Hon. Mallam Bukar Gana, Hon. Haruna Mshelia, Hon. Ahmadu Usman Jaha, Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed Bukar, Hon. Usman Zannah, Hon. Abdulkadir Rahis.

Piqued by Hon. Satomi’s unilateral decision to expunge the section which seeks to invite President Buhari from the motion, Hon. Jaha insisted on the incorporation of the original prayers of the motion as approved by the Borno State caucus.

Also, some lawmakers who rebuffed the appeal by the Majority Leader, Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa and chairman, House Committee on Air Force, Hon. Shehu Koko.

In his address, Hon. Ado-Doguwa said: “We may not necessarily have to invite Mr President to the floor of the House to come and explain; these are security issues.

“I also want to appeal to members of this 9th Assembly that while I share the same emotion and concern on this matter raised, I want to emphasize on the appeal by the Speaker, that members do not need to go this far.

“I will like to appeal to you that we have so many ways to deal with that,” the majority leader urged amidst protest.

Meanwhile, some of the aggrieved lawmakers who frowned at the twist of the debate along ethic divide, almost engaged in physical attacks.

In his brief remarks, Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu who expressed grave concern over the development argued that since some of the non-state actors who are in possession of arms kill indiscriminately, adding that the Federal Government should give eligible citizens the right to bear arms for the purpose of defending themselves.

He also urged the House Committee to investigate the utilisation of the $1 billion for the arms procurement since 2018.

However, the speaker who expressed displeasure over the outburst of other lawmakers who insisted on adherence to the prayers of the motion called for executive session.

He said, “we know where all the ‘nos’ and shoutings are coming from, we all know and I’m very disappointed. But for now, till we resolve the matter amicably, this is not the spirit we started the 9th Assembly with; it’s not. And we will start a division on any basis at this stage. Now we need to dissolve to executive session and resolve this matter.”

In his earlier address, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila affirmed that fellow citizens who live in towns and villages in the North East “have been and continue to be the first victims of a brutal insurgency that seeks to destroy our country and remake our world in the image of a discredited ideology.”

While describing the newest victims of the evil that has brought untold grief to too many, for far too long, Hon. Gbajabiamila expressed reservation over the country’s inability to quell the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents over the past 10 years.

According to him, “for more than a decade, we have confronted the evil that is Boko Haram. We have not won and do not appear close to winning the war against terrorism in Nigeria. Yes, we have recovered territory and land in places where not so long ago, the black flags of Boko Haram flapped in the desert air as an affront to our nationhood and a rebuke to the failures that brought us to that ignoble end.

“But we must ask, what does it mean to recover territory if our people cannot live, and work and trade in these places? What is the value of land whose only purpose is to bury the unfortunate dead?

“We must rethink this war on terror. We must ask ourselves what it is we are doing wrong? What have we failed to do? How is it that despite the billions in resources expended and the countless lives lost, we still are at the mercy of murderers who offer only the promise of death and the certainty of destruction and condemnation in this life and the next?

“Now is the time to ask difficult questions. We ask these questions in the sincere hope that through our collective and concerted search for answers, we might arrive at a solution that spares us further bloodshed. We ask these questions in the hope that the answers we find will heal our land and make our people whole. We ask these questions because we miss.

“In the Legislative Agenda of the 9th House of Representatives, we have committed to specific strategic goals including improved funding of security agencies, better engagement with local communities, innovative, proactive and technological driven responsiveness amongst other things. These goals will help us to achieve the overall goal of a more secure country where people can go about their business free from terror in whatever form.

“While we seek lasting solutions to the problems that threaten us, improving the lives of the people who have lost the most from this conflict must be part of our commitment.

“In the interim, we will consider interventions that compensate the people of Zabarmari for the loss of their harvest so that they are not so deprived that they return quickly to the killing fields where already, they have lost so much. We will not deviate from these commitments,” he assured.

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