By Ignatius Okorocha
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday disagreed with the Senate on the Upper House assessment of the security situation in Benue State and other parts of the country upon which it planned to organise a national security summit.
The President in a letter addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, which was read on the floor of the Senate, said that it was incorrect for the chamber to infer that nothing had been done to address the security challenges in the country.
Buhari in the letter titled: “Re: Report on the review of security infrastructure in Nigeria and the emergency visit to Benue State,” said that the process of reviewing the security architecture had started by him in line with his declaration to that effect in his inaugural address on May 29, 2015.
He said that what is needed from the federal lawmakers at this critical time is nothing but maximum cooperation.
The letter reads in part: “I thank you for your letter referenced NASS/8S/R/01/33 dated 18th, January 2018 and carefully studied the resolutions and comments there in.
“As I briefed you and the Rt. Hon Speaker when we met, several courses of action have been taken prior to the senate resolution. You may recall that I told you of the following steps taken as soon as the information came in to me about the Benue killings.
“One, on Thursday, January 4, I sent the minister of interior and the deputy inspector-general of police in charge of operations for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation. Two, on Friday, 5th January, the inspector-general of police briefed me verbally on the latest situation, calm had then been restored.
“Three, on Monday, January 8, the minister of interior met with the following, governors of Adamawa, Kaduna, Niger, Benue Taraba and Nasarawa together with the DG of the State Security Services, inspector-general of police, CG civil defence, minister of agriculture and rural development and police commissioner of the six aforementioned states.
a�?After the meeting, I instructed the minister of interior to brief you on the information gathered so far and steps taken. On Tuesday, 9th of January, at a session with Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State during which I informed of police arrests of some suspects. In addition, I told him that I have instructed to speed up the trial of the suspects and give wide publicity of the police efforts.
“At the instance of the governor, a meeting was held in the presidential villa on 15th with a wide cross-section of Benue personalities and frank and open discussions were held. Everybody appreciated the difficulties of this farmers-herders strife. I assured all of my commitment and assured justice would be done.
“To infer therefore that nothing has been done, is incorrect. The police are strenuously working to apprehend the rest of the culprits of these heartless killings,a�? he said.
Buhari’s letter however did not attract comments from Senators since it was expected to come up again for discussion at another legislative day in line with parliamentary practice.
Meanwhile, the Senate has mandated its Committee on Police Affairs to summon the Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for failing to in line with its resolution three weeks ago, arrest the perpetrators of the Benue Killings.
Senate’s attention to the IG’s failure over the arrest was drawn by Senator Joshua Lidani (PDP Gombe South).
By Ignatius Okorocha