*Insists he must act on its resolutions
*Rejects invitation to Service Chiefs
*We have failed Nigerians -Senators
By Ignatius Okorocha
Angered by the recent abduction of over 300 students of Government Science School Kankara, Katsina State by gunmen and Killing of 37 Borno indigenes in Refugee Camp Niger Republic at the weekend, the Senate on Tuesday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to act on its resolutions and save the Nigeria from total collapse.
This is even as some lawmakers who were visibly frustrated and angered by what some senators regarded as nonchalant attitude of President Buhari to honour its resolutions towards addressing the rising insecurity in the county, admitted that both the Executive and the legislature have failed the Nigerians.
It rejected earlier request of the sponsor of the a motion to summoned the Minister of Defence, Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Air Staff, the Director -General, Department of State Security Service (DSS) and the Inspector-General of Police to brief the Senate on measures being taken to rescue the missing students at Government Science School, Kankara Katsina State.
The upper chamber there and then urged the president to to consider and implement the recommendations of the Senate Adhoc Committee on Nigeria Security Challenges dated March, 17th 2020 and Senate Resolutions therefrom, as a holistic response to the mounting security challenges across the country.
The resolution of the Senate followed a motion by Senator Bello Mandiya (APC – Katsina South).
Coming under Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, Senator Bello Mandiya, had noted with sadness the recent terrorist attack and abduction of students at Government Science School, Kankara, Katsina State by gunmen on Friday, 11th December, 2020 as widely reported in both local and international media.
According to the sponsor, media reports about the dastardly incident indicated that the attackers stormed the school premises and engaged government security agents in a fierce gun battle, forcing hundreds of students to flee and hide in the surrounding forest while others were reportedly abducted by the gunmen.
He noted that. The katsina state governor Hon Aminu Masari was reported to have confirmed that before the incident, the school which operates as boarding school had a total students population of 884 students but after the attack, the whereabouts of 333 students is yet to be ascertained.
The lawmaker noted that section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 constitution as amended stipulates that the welfare and security of citizens shall be the primary responsibility of government; thus government at all levels owe the people the duty to provide adequate security.
He regretted that the recent attack and abduction of school children at Government Science School, Kankara, Katsina state is coming on the heels of yet to be resolved abduction of 270 girls which took place at Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state in 2014 and the abduction of about 100 schoolgirls at Government Girls Science and Technical School, Dapchi, Yobe state in 2018.
He cautioned that unless urgent steps are taken to rescue Kankara School boys, their fate may be sealed in the hands of terrorists.
Contributing to the debate, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa (APC – Niger East) said, “everyday, people are dying and nothing is happening, and we continue to talk, we continue to go and console them. We can’t bring those lives back.”
“We can’t continue to be leaders, when the people we are leading are being killed everyday. What are the police doing?
Another lawmaker, Kabiru Barkiya (APC – Katsina Central), while describing the kankara kidnapping as a “sad incident”, advised the National Assembly to take urgent steps towards curbing the increasing spate of insecurity in the country.
The Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP – Abia South), in a rather short statement, demanded President Muhammadu Buhari to “Bring back our boys.”
Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC – Nasarawa West) on his part, while identifying the limitations of the National Assembly to intervene, advised that a Committee made up of Senators belonging to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) be constituted to brainstorm on possible solutions to the security problems bedeviling the nation.
“It is common knowledge, that where you don’t have the power of hiring, you don’t have the power of firing. Let’s not deceive ourselves with this.
Sen. Gabriel Suswam (PDP-Benue) said that the ninth Senate since its inauguration had been occupied with issues of insecurity.
“Since we were inaugurated, all that had occupied here has been discussions of security situation.
“If the primary assignment of government is for the security and welfare of the people, how can we continue to sit here pretending to be representatives of the people.
“I say this with all seriousness because we need to go beyond where we are today if we are really representing them.
“We have discussed this for over one year and nothing has happened. It means we don’t have a serious security intelligence in this country and so we cannot be representing the people and continue to play lip service to it.”
Also, Sen. Michael Bamidele (PDP-Ekiti) said this is one of the situations that no one envied.
“It is a situation that needs to be dealt with. It is time to address the Nigerian people as a parliament. We are not unmindful of their concerns about security and welfare of the Nigerian citizen.”
Similarly, Senator Abubakar Kyari (Borno North) coming under Order 43 and 52 of Senate standing Order informed the Senate of the killing of 37 indigenes of Borno in Refugee camp in Niger Republic by Boko Haram insurgents.
Contributing to the motion,Sen. Matthew Urhogide( Edo South) said,”We stood up here to say that the service chiefs should be changed eve looking at the armed forces regulation they should have been changed. The more you say,the more annoying it is the President and he will never change.
“Therefore Mr president please, the president must be compelled to act on Senate resolutions, I am not saying that the President should be impeached no, it would be premature but let us compel him to sit up and obey our resolutions.
“Let us ask him to take action now. Let us take a resolution which will be signed by one third of us Nd sent to him that again we are not prompting him we are compelling him by saying Mr president we are inundating you to act fast on the security of our people that are being massacred everyday. Mr president please take action now. It is compelling as a doctrine of necessity. Mr presided am not calling for his impeachment, I am asking that he be compelled to act on our resolution.”
Sen. Biodu Olujime( Ekiti South),”As far As security is concerned the boy stops at the table of Mr President. The worse part of this situation is that nobody is talking to us, we are just there as if we are talking rubbish.
“How many resolutions of this senate have gone out? Several and none has been handled? How many resolutions did we take from EndSARS none has been tackled and they are saying it is our business. It not our business, it is the business of Mr president. This government has failed all of us. There is no doubt about it and the proper thing to do now. The abduction of over 300 boys, that is the future of Nigeria.”
In his remark, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan that it was important for government to secure the life of its citizens.
“This is the most important function of any government.
“I could see the level of frustration. We as a parliament we should never get tired of talking about issues that affect our people.
” We have our own limitations because of the structure of how governance must be carried out. But we must never get tired of being frustrated of reporting what is happening to our people.
“We should think outside the box,” he said.