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Insecurity: Military, police, others overwhelmed –Senate: Politics : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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Insecurity: Military, police, others overwhelmed –Senate

By: dayan (M) |Time : May 13, 2020, 03:10:59 AM
•Charges IGP to enforce COVID-19 interstate ban •Reps probe extra-judicial killings

Fred Itua and  Ndubuisi Orji,  Abuja

The Senate, yesterday, raised the alarm that Nigeria’s security agencies were  overwhelmed by the myriad of challenges.

The admission followed the consideration and adoption of a motion tagged: “The rising spate of armed banditry attacks and persistent killings in Katsina State” sponsored by Mandiya Bello.

Senat President, Ahmad Lawan, who presided over plenary, said the state of insecurity, particularly insurgency and banditry, had placed a huge burden on security agencies and warned that reforms must be carried out to salvage the sector.

The Senate recently passed a comprehensive blueprint on how to restructure Nigeria’s security architecture.

Bello, in his motion, had said: “Even while Katsina State, like the rest of the country, is groaning under the current plight of the coronavirus pandemic, the plight of indigenes of the state is daily being compounded by the devastating activities of the marauding bandits, which have left many people in complete fear and despair.

“Apart from attacks that have been going on for months, which were mostly unreported, very recently, between May 5 and 6, armed bandits carried out multiple attacks on several communities in Faskari, Kankara, Sabuwa, Dandume, Batsari and Jibia local government areas of the state during which the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Aminu Abdulkareem, was shot and the head of administration of Danmusa was kidnapped together with his son to unknown location. The DPO is yet to recover from the serious gunshot injuries inflicted on him by the bandits.

“About the same period, armed bandits invaded several communities in Kankara Local Government of Katsina State, killing so many people, while carrying out other heinous crimes, including cattle rustling, kidnapping, and also causing forced displacement of the villagers from their ancestral homes. These communities are becoming desperate and may resort to self-help leading eventually to state of anarchy.”

The Senate has also mandated the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and other security chiefs  to enforce  the ban on interstate movement imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The position of the Senate followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Ike Ekweremadu, a former deputy senate president, tagged: “Need to enforce Presidential Order banning interstate movement.”

Ekweremadu, in his debate, said the continuous flouting of the ban on interstate movement and the complicity of security agents in the breach of rules and regulations to stem the spread of COVID-19 should be of concern to Nigerians.

“I am alarmed at the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, which currently stands at 4,641 cases and 150 deaths. I am also alarmed that confirmed daily cases of COVID-19 by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is now in hundreds. I am seriously worried by the numerous reports and trending videos on the flagrant breach of the curfew and interstate travel. The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has raised the alarm over what it described as ‘increased level of interstate movement, worsened by the dubious concealment of people in food-carrying vehicles.’ I am conscious of the fact that the nation’s security agencies, particularly the police, have the responsibility to enforce law and order, including the presidential ban on interstate movement. I am worried about reports of alleged complicity in the said breaches by those who are supposed to enforce compliance with the directives of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

“We condemn in strongest terms the barefaced breach of the presidential order on interstate movements and enjoin Nigerians to strictly comply with these orders for their own safety and to quicken the nation’s victory over the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ekweremadu said.

Meanwhile, Lawan kicked against the violation of social distancing by senators during plenary yesterday.

The Senate President, who made the observation while reading votes and proceedings of last Tuesday’s sitting for adoption, urged senators at the back row to sit far apart from one another, in line with the precautionary measures against the spread of coronavirus.

“Distinguished colleagues, as leaders and lawmakers, please, let us ensure that the principle of social distancing is observed. The principle is not observed at the back seats, going by the way distinguished colleagues are seated. Please, let the principle be reflected straight away by ensuring the required gaps between the seats,” he said.

A few minutes after the admonition, the Senate President, was forced to repeat it when he told Senator Uche Ekwunife that she was too close to the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo- Agege. Lawan added that all senators should ensure that their face mask was on at all times in the Chamber. He demanded that any senator who speaks should do so with full usage of the face mask.

Concerned by the spate of extrajudicial killings and abuse of human rights by security agents enforcing the lockdown imposed by various state governments to check the spread of COVID-19 in the country, On its part, the House of Representatives, yesterday,  resolved to instittute an investigation.

The House, while condemning brutalisation and extortion and the killing of innocent Nigerians by security operatives enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown across the country, called on President Buhari to direct the heads of security agencies implicated in the act to  fish out the perpetrators for prosecution and punishment, according to law.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, on the need to halt the extrajudicial killing of Nigerians and rights abuses by security agents enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown.

Onyejeocha, in her motion, noted that, acording to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC),  security agents, enforcing COVID-19 lockdown, have extrajudicially killed 18 innocent Nigerians in Abia, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Katsina, and Niger states

The lawmaker expressed  regrets that, as at April 13, when the lockdown was extended for another two weeks, the number of Nigerians killed by security agents were more than those from COVID-19.

She explained that of the 18 deaths, the Nigeria Correctional Service was responsible for eight, Nigeria Police Force was responsible for seven, the Nigerian Army was responsible for two, while the Ebonyi State Task Force on COVID-19, Afikpo South LGA, was responsible for one.

Onyejeocha added that “the case of Abia State has assumed a more worrisome dimension with the brutalisation of the people and the killing of five innocent persons; Onyemazu Chibueze of Isuochi Umunneochi LGA on April 4, 2020; a petrol station attendant in Ogbor Hill, Aba on Monday 6 April 2020; Amobi Igwe, a commercial motorist in Umuikea, Isiala Ngwa South LGA on Wednesday 15 April 2020; Ifeanyi Arunsi of Ebem Ohafia on Friday 17 April 2020; and one other person in Uratta Junction, Aba also on Friday 17 April 2020.”

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Re: Insecurity: Military, police, others overwhelmed –Senate

By: dayan (M) |Time : May 13, 2020, 03:16:43 AM
Clearly, the security system in place is outdated and colonial in nature.

It needs decentralization and modernization.

Modernization alone cannot achieve the goal of national security (i.e security throughout Nigeria).
Decentralized police would be the first building block of genuine democracy (as in bottom-up system rather than top-down system).

Top-down systems are never democratic.

Democracies are more resilient/robust than autocracies and dictatorships.

We should be looking the way of America rather than Singapore or China.

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