Following the escalation of killings by Fulani herdsmen across many states in the country, some senators yesterday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to sack the service chiefs and heads of security agencies for their failure to tackle the security menace.
The lawmakers also urged the President to seek foreign assistance to contain the worrisome security situation in the country since the nation’s security agencies had demonstrated lack of capacity and capability to address the lingering security challenges in Nigeria.
This was as the lawmakers asked President Buhari to take the issue of insecurity in the country more seriously and bring it under control, warning that the country was rapidly drifting to anarchy because of the obvious failure of government to protect helpless Nigerians from the sustained killings in the country.
The Senate further condemned the incessant killing in Nasarawa State, which left no fewer than 32 people dead, many injured and thousands of persons displaced to different parts of the state and other neighbouring states.
The apex legislative chamber also directed its Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of the National Security Architecture, to investigate the killings in Nasarawa State alongside other security developments it has been handling and report to the Senate.
The Upper Chamber made these resolutions following a point of order raised by Senator Suleiman Adokwe, representing Nasarawa South Senatorial District on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), drawing the attention of the chamber to the persistent killings in his political enclave, which resulted in deaths of his constituents.
Adokwe told the Senate that Fulani herdsmen were brutally killing innocent people in his constituency for four days, lamenting that the armed forces were just watching without making any attempt to stop the carnage.
He noted that those who were being killed in the violence, which most of the senators described as genocide, were people of Tiv ethnic nationality in about five local government areas of Nasarawa State.
He said: “I like to draw the attention of the Senate to the ongoing crisis in the Southern Senatorial District of Nasarawa State. Throughout the weekend and up to the moment that I am speaking, herdsmen have unleashed terrorist mayhem on the people of the senatorial district, leaving many dead, numerous wounded persons and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons.
“Their victims are largely the Tiv speaking ethnic nationalities with a reported dead toll of 32 persons and we are still counting.
“The real tragedy is not in the well-coordinated and simultaneous carnage across Awe, Obi, Keana and Doma local government areas of southern senatorial district, but the tragedy lies with the fact that for four days running, this mayhem continues unhindered, unchecked, unstopped by any arm of the law and security enforcement agencies.
“Indeed, right under the noses of the armed forces and the police, this killing is sustained unabated by sheer negligence or refusal to act by the security agencies. It is very sad that in Nigeria, with all the security forces, a whole senatorial district will go on being punished by the militia and no action coming from government. This is a sad commentary.
“As I speak to you now, the Southern senatorial district has been completely emptied by the militia and they are occupying all the houses and villages of the Tiv people across all local governments, up to five of them and they are just within 30-minute drive from the state capital, Lafia.
“There is even an army base close to where this carnage is taking place with no single shot fired by the army. It baffles me and beats my imagination that a whole enforcement agency of the Nigerian state will stand by and witness Nigerians being killed endlessly. Nobody can explain this.”
Seconding the motion, Senator Barnabas Gemade (APC, Benue), lamented that the country was gradually sliding into anarchy as a result of the failure of the APC-led government to secure the lives and property of citizens.
He noted with grief that it was as a result of the failure of government to play its role to ensure security of lives and property of citizens that compelled some notable Nigerians to call for self defence against the reckless invaders.
His words: “It is a shame that a sitting government could watch criminality go to the level that we have seen it today rather than rise up and take very decisive steps against it, we embark on deniability and simply shield this evil by just explaining with flimsy excuses that these are communal clashes in those communities.”
Contributing, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West), called for the immediate removal from office of all the service chiefs as they have failed to proffer solution to incessant killings in the land.
Senator Jeremiah Useni (PDP, Plateau), a retired General, also urged President Buhari to kick out heads of security agencies for indiscipline and non-productivity.
The deputy minority whip, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South), told the Chamber that time had come when the Senate should suspend its legislative responsibilities and face the issue of security headlong until sanity was restored, warning that Nigeria might cease to exist if the security situation remained unaddressed.
Also, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce (PDP, Bayelsa) expressed worries over the failure of government to sincerely tackle the security challenges in the country, saying that it was an indication of a complete failure in the leadership of the nation.
In his remarks, the Deputy President of the Senate, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, said that it was time Nigeria sought for international assistance to tackle the problem of insecurity in Nigeria.
He also pointed out that there could be no investment in the country if there was no peace in the land, stating that if the country was secured, investors could come on their own without invitation by anybody.
He said: “If citizens are being killed, we owe the country a responsibility as a parliament to give it the desired attention. And we will never stop talking about these killings. Unless it stops, we will never be tired of speaking about it.
“The time has come for us to seek help from other countries as some of us have suggested here. We should not be ashamed to ask for help. The President met with the UK Prime Minister and she was of the opinion that Britain would help us security wise. America is also offering to help. We should not be reluctant to come out openly and say we need help, because what we have now is a global village.
“We cannot be asking people to come to Nigeria and invest their monies here. They will not; rather, let us ask them to come and help us to solve our security problem. If we solve our security problem, they will come here, with nobody asking them to come. I think the first thing to do is to resolve the issue, and it is something we all need to do, and do it fast.”