The two chambers of the National Assembly on their resumption from a five-week recess on Tuesday reviewed the state of the nation and declared that insecurity in the country had reached an alarming level.
The House of Representatives lamented killings, kidnapping, banditry and insurgency across the country and said something must be done urgently to arrest the situation.
On their part, the Peoples Democratic members in the House assessed insecurity in the country, particularly the killings in Plateau State, and concluded that the regime was complacent.
The Senate expressed concern that insecurity in the country had deteriorated. It promised to pursue the community policing policy with vigour.
In the last three months, there has been an upsurge in killings and kidnapping across the country, particularly in Zamfara, Kaduna, Kastsina and Niger states. Besides, there have been renewed attacks by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province on residents and troops in the North-East.
Despite the killings and kidnapping, Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Nigerian Ruler, Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, said insecurity in the country was not as bad as it was being reported.
He said Nigerians ought to be thankful for the job being done by the government.
But the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Benjamin Kalu, in an interview with journalists in Abuja, said insecurity in the country was alarming.
He stated that the National Assembly must do something to address the worsening insecurity.
He said, “The insecurity in the land is too much. It is alarming. We can no longer paint it with beautiful colours. We can no longer discuss it in low tunes. The cries of the people that have lost their lives are giving us sleepless nights and something needs to be done about it. And this 9th Assembly is going to look at various legislative interventions with regard to insecurity in the land, to ensure that Nigerians are safe – better than they have always been – because that is the core mandate of every government – to protect lives and property.
Kalu noted the renewed insurgent attacks in the North-East and the role of the police in ensuring the country’s internal security.
The lawmaker said, “There were aspersions on the police, on whether they can do it or not. The recent reports that we are getting show that the police are capable of handling our internal security. There are some success stories coming from what they are doing at the moment. We are going to use legislative intervention to support them the more, and all the other role players within the rrmed forces to make sure that the people are motivated the more to protect Nigerians.”
Kalu said this just as the PDP members of the House lamented the repeated attacks on communities in Plateau State by killer herdsmen.
The PDP members, including the factional leader of the caucus, Mr Kingsley Chinda, and the lawmaker representing the Bokkos/Mangu Federal Constituency of Plateau State, Mr Solomon Maren, addressed a press conference on the issue on Tuesday.
They expressed concern about “deteriorating security situation in Mangu-Bokkos communities which had claimed several lives and property.
Maren said, “Government seems not only complacent but to be condoning these hoodlums and probably protecting them by dealing with the issues with kid gloves because there is no single prosecution of those arrested over the years; no categorical statement and policy to fight this menace to the finish.
“Even when killer herdsmen were designated and referred to as most dangerous terrorist gang in the world, our government didn’t classify them as such. One can easily conclude that genocide has been declared on my people and indeed Plateau State.
“Consequently, we request as follows: We call on Mr President to show sincerity and commitment, match words with actions, to secure all Nigerians wherever they are. As commander-in-chief, he should provide security agencies with modern equipment, resources and the political will to make them succeed.
“We call on the international community to save our people from extinction, going by the numbers killed every day.
He appealed to Buhari to show love for Plateau State people by providing them with food, water and sanitation as a matter of urgency.
Appealing to the international community, Maren said, “Kindly impress it on the President of Nigeria to end the genocide and the killing of the innocent, harmless and defenceless people of my constituency at home in Plateau and outside Plateau State.
He called on philanthropists and non-governmental organisations to help the displaced people who were living without food, drugs, water and sanitary needs.
Maren said Mangu-Bokkos communities in Plateau had lost 26 people. “The most worrisome part is that, there is no sign that government is willing to perform its constitutional duty of protecting the lives and property of the people or arresting and prosecuting perpetrators of this hideous, barbaric, senseless and inhuman act.”
According to him, those who escaped from the villages under attack are now taking refuge in the Central Church and the Christ Apostolic Church, Bokos.
He added, “The essence of coming together as a federation is to have leadership at various levels to protect everyone. Hence, the constitutional provision in Section 4 is for the security and welfare of the people. We have drifted from the ideas of the founding fathers.”