By Olugbenga Salami
Disturbed by the heightened insecurity across the country, the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday, charged the Security Chiefs to redouble their efforts at securing lives and properties of the people.
Lawan, who spoke at a meeting between the Senate leadership and the Service Chiefs in Abuja, said while “the security situation of any country cannot be one hundred percent satisfactory, but of course there is a level at which no country can be comfortable with insecurity.”
Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor led the Service Chiefs, including the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Awwal Gambo; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao and the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba to the meeting.
Others are the Director General, Directorate of Security Service, DSS, Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi; the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi; Director General of National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar while the National Security Adviser, NSA, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) was represented.
The Senate President, who lamented the lingering crisis, said “there has never been an administration in this country, especially since the Fourth Republic started in 1999 that invested so many resources in the security of this country like this present administration.”
“I have no doubt about it. I am a participant. To a very large extent I can say that none. We believe that as a National Assembly, we have always met this Executive at the right position, at the right time, most especially when it concerns investment in the security of life and property in Nigeria,” he maintained.
However, while expressing displeasure at the current situation, the Senate President said: “We had hoped that by this time, the security situation in Nigeria would have been far better and Nigeria would have made more progress not only in the area of security, but also in the area of economy which is tied to the security situation again.”
“I believe that all security agencies and Armed Forces have been doing their best but apparently we have to do more to achieve what we desire to achieve.
“There are, of course, several arguments whether the resources available to our Armed forces and our security agencies are enough or not, definitely not enough. I don’t know of any country where there is enough really. But even within the scarcity that we have this administration and this Senate and National Assembly has always prioritised the security of our country.
“This particular session of the interaction between us is to look into where we are today and probably this current position where we are is most frightening because it is like there is nowhere to hide, nowhere to go. Insecurity is everywhere and especially, if it is coming to the point of dislocating the security situation where the government is quartered. We will really review and see what more we have to do and how differently we have to do.
“Our population is largely peasant. Most of our people are in the rural areas and they live their lives by going to farms. We all know this. In many parts of the country today, that is an herculean task.
“My belief is that we can do better to secure the rural areas, the so-called ungoverned space. At least for our population who go to farms to earn their living?
“Where our agricultural productivity is drastically going down, that will complicate the security situation because the most ordinary Nigerian cares more about what he or she or what the family will eat. And of course, all other things are secondary.