*advocates urgent restructuring of security system
*Says PIB, Electoral Reforms matters ll’ top agenda
*Constitution Review C’ttee to be set up soon
By Ignatius Okorocha
Alarmed at the rate of killings and other levels of criminality in parts of the country, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, described the nation’s security architecture as a total failure.
This was as he announced said that issues of security in the country, Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and electoral reforms were top on the agenda of the Senate as the upper chamber reconvenes on Tuesday.
Lawan, who spokes to journalists in Abuja, also stressed the need to urgently restructure the country’s security system to be able to live up to its mandate of effectively securing life and property of the citizens.
He lamented that, in spite of efforts by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to tackle insurgency and all forms of banditry in the country, the security situation had suddenly deteriorated across the land.
He therefore, insisted that the only way to get out of the menacing quagmire was to restructure the defective security system in the country, and come up with a system that would be result oriented.
Although he declined to make categorical statement on the recently established South-west security militia, Operation Amotekun, Lawan pointed out that effective security in any human community must be the duty of the government and the governed.
The President of the Senate noted that, for meaningful results to be achieved in the effort to secure the entire country, the three tiers of government- federal, state and local governments must join hands and execute the task.
His words: “all hands must be on deck. The Federal Government, state government and even the local government and in fact, more importantly, citizens because wherever you see security improving, that means the citizens are playing their roles very well.
“But of course, the onus lies largely on government. So, we are going to work with the executive arm of government.
“We should engage with the security agencies in the Senate to find why the deterioration in security in many parts of the country. We have had series of engagement before but the escalation now has made it mandatory that we have to have a definite position as a government because we just cannot play politics with security issues.
“Lives are at stake. Therefore, the Senate will take a position on how security in the country should be. We believe that the security architecture should be restructured. The present system does not appear to give us the type of outcome that we need.
“Whether it is the federal, state or local government; Even the traditional rulers or others, the most important thing is to secure the lives and property of Nigerians and we would do that”.
On the constitution review committee of the Senate, the politician stated the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, would be the chairman, promising that he would reconstitute the Panel either this week or next week.
He noted that the tradition in the National Assembly since 1999 had been for the Deputy President of the Senate and the Deputy Speaker to head the committee in each of the chambers, saying that the tradition would not be altered under his tenure.
He said: “the committee will be constituted very soon, either this week or next week by the grace of God because the time is ripe for us reconstitute the committee so that the members could start to work immediately.
“We have referred some bills to them already. Traditionally, everybody knows that since 1999 when the constitution review committee was formed in the National Assembly, in the Senate, the Deputy President of the Senate usually heads the committee while the Deputy Speaker is usually the chairman of the Committee.
“We are going to maintain the tradition in the 9th Senate. We have a Deputy Senate President who is vast; erudite lawyer who played an important and significant role in the 8th Assembly as a member of the committee on INEC and Constitution review. So, we are good to go by the grace of God”.