The Senate has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately initiate a process to replace the current service chiefs and replace them with new ones with new ideas and solutions.
This is the second time the Red Chamber is calling for the replacement of the service chiefs.
In July, the Red Chamber had asked the service chiefs to resign their appointments.
Again, the Red Chamber, on Tuesday, urged the president to sack them after adopting a motion by Senator Kashim Shettima (APC, Borno) on the killings of 67 farmers in the state.
The Senate also called on the president to take immediate steps to restructure and remodel the country’s security architecture and provide enough state-of-the-art weapons and equipment to effectively combat the insurgents.
The Red Chamber urged the president to probe widespread allegations of corruption and leakages within the security structure and put mechanism in place to foster transparency and ensure all resources deployed for security are spent on the needs on ground.
It asked the federal government to explore multi lateral partnerships with Nigeria’s neighbours to find a lasting solution to the insurgency, and call for the recruitment of 10,000 civilian JTF as well as massive recruitment in the military and the police.
Unable to quell insurgency
In his lead debate, Senator Shettima said the Nigerian army, in conjunction with other security agencies, up till today have not been able to quell the insurgency affecting the north east region in spite the slogan by government officials that the insurgents have been technically defeated.
Many of the lawmakers, who contributed to the debate, said the service chiefs had outlived their usefulness and should go.
They noted that the Buhari presidency had breached section 14(1b) of the constitution which says the primary purpose of government is to provide security for the people.
Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita (APC, Katsina) said the leadership of National Assembly sit with the military and reassess their performance.
He said the statement credited to Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, that the slain farmers had no clearance to go to farm was irresponsible at a time many Nigerians were mourning the killings in Borno.
He said killing and kidnapping had continued unabated every day, and that if the government allows situation to continue, the country should be ready for another mourning.
He prayed the National Assembly not to increase the budget of the military until it justifies the released funds.
Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) backed the submission of Baba Kaita, saying his findings in Borno showed that soldiers at war in north east were sharing ammunitions, and that some of them were without helmet and bulletproof.
He said aside the lack of deployment of modern military equipment, there was no coordination among the security forces.
Ndume said the Senate must take a step forward on its resolutions, asking the Senate President to give President Buhari a timeline to implement the resolutions.
A presidential visit ideal
Senator Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi) said even though the federal government’s delegation was in Borno on Monday, the ideal thing for President Buhari to do was to visit Borno personally to condole with the families of the victims.
He said it is high time for the government to adequately care for the IDPs, noting that the humanitarian crisis in north east was deplorable.
He said Nigerian government should collaborate more with its neighbors for the country to overcome the insurgency.
Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti) said the president should allow the current service chiefs to go, noting that killings and kidnappings had become a daily routine.
He said if the president would not sack them, they, in the overriding public interest, should resign.
Senator Thomson Sekibo (PDP, Rivers) said the future is bleak, because of wanton killings of innocent Nigerians on daily basis.
“We are failing our people. We swore to protect them but we are not,” he said.
He said the civilian JTF should be absorbed into the military, given proper training, because they are familiar with the environment.
Danjuma La’ah (PDP, Kaduna) said the security situation in the country was beyond redemption, while Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi) said the military is over stretched, adding that the civilian JTF should be trained and deployed to their areas.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan assured that the Red Chamber would take additional steps to ensure that its resolutions were implemented.
These are not frivolous or imaginary resolutions, they are based on the reality of the country. Implementing the resolutions would gladden the minds of Nigerians, Lawan said.
Enough of excuses, people who have little or nothing to add to the system should be shown the exit, Lawan said.
The security of Nigerians should be the priority and no investment in security is too much, because it contributes to the economy. Time has come to find a lasting solution to the insecurity, he added.
He expressed hope that the Executive would respect and implement the resolutions.