UPDATED: NASS leaders to meet Buhari, security chiefs on Boko Haram killings

Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila have been mandated to urgently meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and heads of the nation’s armed forces over the renewed upsurge in Boko Haram attacks.

The resolution of the Senate followed a point of order moved by Senator Abubakar Kyari (Borno North), on the recent killing of 90 people in his constituency.

The Upper Chamber also urged the Federal Government to direct the Armed Forces to urgently secure areas around the Lake Chad.

The Red Chamber also urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to send relief materials to victims of the attacks.

It similarly urged the Federal Government to implement the Senate’s recommendations on the restructuring of the nation’s security architecture to enhance efficiency.

Lawan promised to mobilise his colleagues in the House of Representatives to meet Buhari and the security chiefs.

He insisted any of the security chiefs who fails to perform up to expectations, even with adequate provisions, should be sacked.

Kyari ,who cited order 42 and 52 of the Senate standing rules, lamented the killing of 90 persons – which included women and children – on Tuesday by Boko Haram insurgents following an attack on Foduma Kolum village of Gubio Local Government, of Borno State.

The Senator bemoaned the resurgence of what he described as “senseless killings” by the insurgents in recent weeks.

According to him, 17 people were killed in Gajiagana, Magimeri local government on May 17 and 33 others killed in Nganzai Local Government on May 22.

Kyari said: “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.

“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.”

According to him: “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.”

Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South), decried the inability of the Armed Forces to completely rout insurgents in the North-East.

Ndume urged Lawan and Gbajabiamila to meet with President Buhari to discuss the spate of insecurity in northern Nigeria.

Lawan 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.

“This Senate passed so many resolutions including the reports of the various Ad-Hoc Committees we set up on Security but the problem persists.

“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”, Lawan said.

Accordingly, the Senate in its resolutions 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 urged 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.

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