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Insecurity: Senators Hit Buhari Hard

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Insecurity: Senators Hit Buhari Hard

There was uproar on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday when the Minority Leader,  Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, called for the immediate resignation of the President,  Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Abaribe made the  call at the plenary, where he was reacting to a statement by the President, who on Tuesday said he was taken aback by the increasing insecurity in   the country.

The  Senate minority leader said the  resignation became imperative in view of the Buhari regime inability to curtail the alarming security challenges confronting the country.

Abaribe spoke after the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, presented his motion on rising security challenges in the country.

Although the Senate was divided on  Abaribe’s  demand for President’s resignation, senators, who commented  on the  insecurity in the country, were  unanimous in berating Buhari for failing to sack the service chiefs despite their dwindling performances.

Also, there was outrage in the country over the President’s statement  as groups including the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, backed the call on the President to sack the service chiefs.

But the calls by Abaribe and other prominent Nigerians elicited an angry reaction from the Presidency, which described the Senate minority leader as an arm chair critic.

Buhari, while addressing eminent indigenes  of Niger State at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, had said he was taken aback  by banditry and other forms of insecurity in the North-West and other parts of the country.

The President’s position was  in sharp contrast with that of his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who, on Sunday, said insecurity was not as bad as it was being reported by the media.

In the last three months, bandits and insurgents have been attacking residents and troops in Zamfara, Niger, Katsina, Borno and many other states.

At the Senate plenary on Wednesday, Abaribe said the attitude of the President to insecurity in the country surprised him.

Abaribe said, “When I was coming this morning, I saw the newspaper headlines;  ‘Mr president, Commander- in- Chief expresses shock at the level of violent crime.’

“In other words, Mr President was expressing surprise. But in accordance to our Rule 53(13), I will not  go into that, but I will only say, Mr President (of the Senate), in pidgin English, this surprise, surprised me.

“You have told us that on this solemn day that we are discussing this matter;  that we may not at any point be partisan and I want to tell you Mr President, if you didn’t insist that we should not be partisan, I would have called out the presidential spokesman, Femi  Adesina.

“Adesina, who, when the Christian Association of Nigeria leaders complained about the killing of a priest, turned around and said  CAN was acting like a political party.

“Now that we are talking about it here, let me hear him say that all of us are acting like a political party;  when somebody is complaining about these incessant deaths in this country.

“We have to get to the root of this matter. I can only say one thing, those who live on propaganda will die by propaganda. It is a matter of life and death.

“Everything was being done to make sure that the hard work that was supposed to be done in securing Nigeria was not done because certain people did not do  their work and preferred to cover the eyes of Nigerians with propaganda.

“All the time that we wasted in Nigeria trying to find all these excuses for non- performance has now come to stare us in the face.

“Reality is no respecter of persons. It is that reality we are facing now. Senator Sani Musa is shouting every day his people are being killed in Niger. We just took one (a motion) from Jos; a student who was murdered in the full view of everybody with a pistol. Yet, we are being told that they (Boko Haram terrorists) have been defeated.

“Nigerians did not elect the Inspector General of Police.  We did not elect the Chief of Staff.  We did not elect the service chiefs.  We did not elect the National Security Adviser.

“We elected the government of the APC in 2015 and reelected  them in 2019. The reason we reelected them was that they continued to tell  us they had a key  to security.

“When you want to deal with a matter, you go with the head, so we will go with the government and ask this government to resign because they can no longer do anything.

“Yes, the Nigerians voted a government into power and that government even said, ‘if we don’t perform, stone us, we are going with the stones to stone them now because they are no longer performing.”

There was an instant noise in the camps of the majority and minority caucuses of the red chamber which lasted for a while before the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan,  brought the rowdy session under control.

Some senators hailed the submission of Abaribe while others described it as unnecessary.

However, when the uproar subsided,  Senator Abdullahi Adamu, said Abaribe’s submission was unnecessary.

He wondered why Lawan had not stopped Abaribe earlier because senators should be seen as statesmen. He urged the Senate President to demand an apology from the minority leader.

Adamu, an APC member from Nasarawa West, however admitted that Abaribe had legislative immunity to express his views.

He said, “There is no doubting the fact that we do face security challenges in the country, anybody who says otherwise is only pretending.”

The President of the Senate appealed to his colleagues to approach the security issue with caution. He, however, did not ask Abaribe to apologise.


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