Senators yesterday told the Federal Government to take immediate steps to tackle increasing insecurity in parts of the country to avoid unpleasant consequences to the corporate existence of the country.
The lawmakers specifically warned that the country may become a failed state if speedy measures were not taken to address the wanton destruction of lives and property in parts of the country.
The visibly angry senators’ remarks followed a motion of national urgent importance by Senator Atai Ali Aidoko (Kogi East) on the killing of over 32 people in Omale and Dekina Local Government Areas of Kogi State.
Aidoko told his colleagues that the victims were slaughtered on Wednesday in most gruesome manner.
The Kogi East lawmaker said that 20 people were killed in Ogane-Enugu community in Dekina, while 12 others were killed in Agbejukolo, Agbenema communities in Omala Local Government Area of the state.
He lamented: “Despite continued condemnation of killings in many parts of the country, perpetrators of this dastardly act have not been arrested. I want this Senate to urge President Muhammadu Buhari to direct security agencies to bring the situation under control by arresting the perpetrators and ensure that they are prosecuted. This killing is taking another dimension as the killers also amputate peoples’ hands and leave them to go. That is purely genocide which has crept into the killings.”
Senate Emmanuel Paulker (Bayelsa) in his contribution noted that there was no doubt the country was gradually descending a failed state.
Paulker added that there was equally no doubt that the government has lost count of the number of Nigerians killed everyday by armed herdsmen.
The lawmaker warned that if urgent measures were not taken to address the grave situation, the country would surely run into serious crisis.
Paulker said that policing of communities should be taken serious in the interest of Nigerians.
Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, who also contributed noted that the Senate should worked closely with the executive to salvage the situation.
Lawan who just returned from Zamfara State where he toured crisis hit areas said that the effectiveness of security agencies in combating crime in the country shoul.d be worked on and improved
The Yobe State lawmaker, who also posited that security agencies in the country were overstretched, insisted that it was a matter of concern that the number of policemen guarding communities in the country were grossly inadequate.
He wondered how effect security could be in a population of about five million, “you have only 300 policemen guarding the area in the same area over 300 bandits will attack a particular place”
Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, in his contribution blamed President Muhammadu Buhari for alleged inaction.
The Abia South lawmaker said that it was obvious that the President is not in charge.
Abaribe also frowned at the President “frequent bulk passing and trading in blame game.”
He said that President Buhari does not take responsibility whenever anything goes wrong in the country.
Abaribe noted that as Commander-In-Chief, President Buhari should coordinate the fight against activities of herdsmen.
He said, “The President is always passing blames. He blames every other person, but himself. He tells us every times that he does not know what is happening in the country. How can a President utter such words?
“If the President does not know what is happening in a country like Nigeria, how can we be safe? We should call the President to order and tell him to do his job he was elected to do. He should stop claiming that he does not know what is happening and do the needful.”
It was obvious that Abaribe’s remarks did not go down well with some of his colleagues, especially members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Abaribe was interjected in the course of his contribution twice.
The interjection led to a near upheaval on the floor of the upper chamber.
Senators Lawan and Gbenga Ashafa raised Point of Order to pray the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki to call Abaribe to order.
Lawan and Ashafa pointed out that Abaribe left the substance of the motion under consideration to attack President Buhari.
Senator James Manager on his part blamed the killings on non-arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.
Manager said, “Societies have evolved and there is law and order, when somebody who commits a crime is caught, he should be punished to serve as deterrent to others.”
Senator Adamu Aliero sought the immediate implementation of recommendations of the National Security summit recently organised by the Senate, in conjunction with the Presidency.
He said that a meeting with security agencies some weeks ago revealed that the police is overstretched.
He said that the need to recruit more hands as well as increase the funding of the police was raised.
Saraki in his remarks condemned the killings. Saraki noted that prevailing situation was completely unacceptable.
He said, “The Senate would work towards finding solutions to insecurity in the country. Let us be patriotic because this situation is unacceptable.’’