Members of the House of Representatives have condemned the recent attack on the convoy of Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, insisting that heads of the armed forces should resign or be sacked.
Those who made the call include the minority caucus and members from Southern Kaduna, where armed herdsmen and militias are wreaking havoc.
The minority caucus said it was alarmed by the attack on Zulum, saying the sad event had again reinforced the urgent need to review the country’s security architecture.
The Minority Leader of the House, Mr Ndudi Elumelu, in a statement on Friday, titled ‘Attack on Governor Zulum: Reps Caucus Restates Call for Sack of Service Chiefs,’ urged the Presidency to implement the recent resolution of both chambers of the National Assembly, asking the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to sack the service chiefs.
The Senate had on July 21, 2020, asked the service chiefs to step down, following the killings of soldiers fighting insurgency and banditry in parts of northern Nigeria. But the Presidency disagreed, saying it was the prerogative of the President to appoint and sack service chiefs.
Elumelu, in the statement, noted that the attack on the governor and other dastardly activities of insurgents in various parts of the country “have further reinforced the urgent need to inject new hands with fresh ideas to handle the nation’s security architecture.”
The minority leader said, “The worsening security situation in the country under the current service chiefs has reached an unbearable state, to the extent that insurgents have the temerity to attack an armed convoy of a state governor.
“We, the opposition lawmakers, hereby, in the strongest terms restate the call to President Muhammadu Buhari to honour the resolution of the National Assembly and immediately remove the service chiefs and bring in new hands to effectively confront the security challenges confronting our nation.”
The Peoples Democratic Party caucus also urged Muslims to exhibit the spirit of tolerance, sacrifice, mutual love and peaceful coexistence with others, “particularly in view of the numerous manmade challenges facing us as a people, including the several killings, kidnappings and general state of insecurity across the county.”
Leader of the caucus, Mr Kingsley Chinda, in a statement issued on Thursday, titled ‘Eid-el-Kabir: PDP Caucus in House Urges Muslim Faithful to Pray for Peaceful Coexistence,’ said the call became necessary, “more so, with the brazen and boldface corruption promoted by inept and unsustainable public policies and programmes, divisive tendencies occasioned by invidious governmental policies and actions, prayers are needed.”
Speaking with our correspondent on the telephone recently, the lawmaker representing Jaba/Zangon Kafat Federal Constituency in Kaduna State, Mr Amos Magaji, said he just returned from mass burial of victims of the attacks by suspected herdsmen. He also called for the removal of the service chiefs.
Magaji lamented that the continued attacks on communities in Southern Kaduna had created a humanitarian crisis while internally displaced persons were increasing in number.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Mr Babajimi Benson, in a chat with our correspondent, urged the security forces to rise up to the challenges.
“There is a need for the adequate presence of security forces in the affected communities; use of modern intelligence and cooperation by all stakeholders – political, religious, and traditional. Furthermore, our security agencies need to be adequately armed and compensated, as a motivation for fighting this battle,” he said.
The call by the lawmakers is coming about a month after President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, met with the President over the rising insecurity in the country.
In an interview with the State House correspondents after the meeting, Lawan had said security chiefs should live up to their expectations or be shown the way out.
Only unity can frustrate banditry, insurgency –Goje
The Chairman of the North-East Caucus in the National Assembly, Senator Danjuma Goje, has said unity among Nigerians remains the best way to frustrate the activities of bandits and insurgents in the country.
Goje, who stated this in his Eid-el-Kabir message to Nigerians on Friday, stressed the need for the people to embrace one another and shun any form of discrimination.
“At this feast of sacrifice, I call on every Nigerian to be their brother’s keeper at all times in providing the unity that can move the country forward and frustrate the nefarious activities of criminals among us,” he said.
He enjoined Muslims to seize the blessings of the season to pray fervently for the progress of the country.
He also urged Nigerians to celebrate Sallah in conformity with COVID-19 safety protocols.