Senators on Tuesday, again, lamented the inability of President Muhammadu Buhari to effectively address insecurity in Nigeria.
They also reminded the President of their powers of impeachment as contained in the nation’s constitution if the situation persists.
The senators also advocated taking serious actions, including putting on hold further actions on the 2021 budget that could make the President to take resolutions passed by the Senate, seriously.
The lawmakers spoke during a debate on a motion moved by Senator Bello Mandiya from Katsina South Senatorial District on the abduction of about 330 students of a secondary school in the state, which Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for.
The red chamber unanimously resolved not to have anything to do with the nation’s service chiefs any longer; hence they dropped their earlier decision to summon the defence minister, military generals and the heads of the security agencies in the country.
It accordingly resolved to condemn in “very strong terms” the attack on Government Science School, Kankara, in Kastina State which led to the abduction and disappearance of the students.
The Senate also urged the Buhari to consider and implement the recommendations of the Senate ad hoc Committee on Nigeria’s security challenges and the Senate resolutions as a holistic response to the mounting security challenges across the country.
The Chairman of the Senate Public Accounts Committee, Mathew Urhoghide, lamented that National Assembly had exhausted all avenues to make Buhari tackle insecurity.
Urhoghide said, “We stood up here to say that the service chiefs should be changed. The more you say, the more annoying it is the President and he will never change.
“Therefore Mr President please, the President must be compelled to act on Senate resolutions, I am not saying that the President should be impeached; no, it would be premature, but let us compel him to sit up and obey our resolutions.
“The President has no respect for the National Assembly, our resolutions are not being respected.”
A former Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, also said it was glaring that the President did not need the legislative arm of government.
She said: “I don’t believe that I am part of the problem. The presidency is not an award; it is a call to duty.
“When you call a man to duty he must be able to know when the bulk stops on his table.
“Right now the bulk stops on the President’s table as far as security in this country is concerned.
“The worst part of the situation is that he is talking to us as if we are talking rubbish.
“We have many resolutions of this Senate; none of them has been implemented. Even the resolution on #EndSARS none has been taken.”
Senator Sani Musa said: “There is need to draw the attention of the President that enough is enough; the service chiefs should go.
“I wish the National Assembly will take a drastic action on this. We have the power to appropriate.
Senator James Manager said: “Let the public be aware that we have done all that is there to be done
“We have handed necessary resolutions for the executive to implement, not one item has been implemented and we are talking about and we are inviting the service chiefs; for what?”
Senator Gabriel Suswam said: “There’s nothing more important for government to do than securing the lives of citizens of this country, and at all times.”
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, urged his colleagues not to despair but continue to speak out.
He said, “As a parliament, we should never get tired of talking about issues that affect our people
“I believe that we should think outside the box. What are those new things that we need to say to bring everybody to the table for the kind of action we believe in the Senate and, indeed the National Assembly, that should be taken.
“We should continue to engage with the Executive arm of government until the appropriate actions are taken, because that is what we are expected to do as a Parliament,” the Senate President said.
In a related development, the House of Representatives called on the Federal Government on Tuesday to immediately take action towards securing the release or rescue of all pupils abducted by Boko Haram and bandits in the recent times.
They include the Chibok schoolgirls abducted in Borno State in April 2014; Leah Sharibu, the last of the Dapchi schoolgirls taken in Yobe State in February 2018; and the recent Kankara schoolboys kidnapped in Katsina State.
At the plenary on Tuesday, the House unanimously adopted a motion sponsored by 76 members, mostly from the North, titled ‘Call on the Federal Government to Urgently Bring to Total Control, the Attacks on Educational Institutions, Insurgency, Banditry and Kidnappings Across the Country.’
Adopting the motion, the House called on the Federal Government to “review the security architecture of the country because of their seeming demonstration of diminishing returns.”