How Senate will tackle Nigeria’s insecurity – Lawan

Senate President Ahmad Lawan has said Nigerians are not getting the best from the security agencies due to the way their structures were designed.

Senate President, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, said the Senate will adopt a radical approach in tackling the rising spate of kidnapping and insecurity across the country.

Lawan made the statement while contributing to a motion on renewed activities of armed robbers and kidnappers on the Lokoja-Abuja road, moved by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West).

The Senate President said the time had come to ban the Army, the police and other paramilitary personnel from using railway services.

He said they should instead ply the roads and clear them for other Nigerians to travel safely.

According to him, there is urgent need to review the nation’s security architecture and allocate more funds for security in the national budgets.

Lawan said: “The issue of kidnapping, banditry and other security challenges is affecting all of us. I also agree completely that we need to do something differently.

“You recall that before we went on recess, we mentioned that we needed to go back to that report on the ad hoc committee set up to review the architecture of the security in Nigeria, which the Eighth Senate set up.

“In addition to doing something, maybe by way of a public hearing to ensure that we review the security architecture and the structure of our agencies today, because of the way they are designed, I think we are not getting the best out of them and we cannot go on like this.

“Maybe we would be a little more radical. We need to give the security agencies some more funds, but we should insist on accountability.

“It is not enough to give them money; we must see how they utilise the money. We must insist on that, and if we do that, we must insist that uniform people must not join the train because they are the ones that are supposed to protect us.

“The military, the police and para-military agencies should allow the ordinary people to use the train.

“Let them ply the roads because that would clear the roads for other road users to go on the roads.

“We have to take these measures and take some responsibilities and obligations.”

Also, senators decried the renewed kidnappings on the Abuja-Lokoja road and other highways in the country.

They urged security agencies to immediately tighten security on the roads.

The senators also urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to further protect the lives of Nigerians on the Abuja-Lokoja expressway and other highways across the country.

In his lead debate, Senator Melaye drew the Senate’s attention to repeated kidnappings on the Lokoja-Abuja highway in September.

The Kogi senator urged his colleagues to note that the highway is the gateway to about nine states and the only road that joins the South and the North.

He said: “Specifically, between Aseni and Omoko village on that expressway, on September 11, there was a very serious issue of kidnap where about eight people were abducted on that road.

“As if that was not enough, on September 18 again, they came more vociferous and kidnaped 11 people and destroying property of motorists.

“As if that was not enough, on September 24, the gang of armed robbers came there and killed eight Nigerians, including one Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who was commuting on that road.

“They killed eight people and kidnapped 18 people. My worry is that it happened on September 11 and there was no special security attention to it.

“It happened again on September 18 and it was fully demonstrated again on September 24, where the lives of eight Nigerians were unceremoniously taken.

“In a country where there is law and order; in a country where the poor and rich pay their taxes, Chapter 2 of the Constitution and Section 14(2b) is very clear. And what does that part of the constitution say? It says the primary responsibility of the government shall be the security and welfare of the people…”

Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe and Danjuma Goje supported the motion.

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