By Olugbenga Salami
Much publicized meeting between the Senate and Security Chiefs over the rising insecurity in the country could not hold on Wednesday due to the absence of the National Security Adviser, NSA, Malam Nuhu Ribadu and the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Christopher Musa.
Those who made it to the Senate briefing were the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Taoreed Lagbaja; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar; Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun and the Director General, Department of State Services, DSS, Yusuf Bichi.
It would be recalled that the Senate had on Tuesday last week through resolution adopted from collective motion on insecurity summoned the Service Chiefs and heads of security agencies for grilling in plenary.
The planned interface as announced by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Adetokunbo Abiru on Tuesday was specifically fixed for Wednesday and Thursday this week.
But the Senate in plenary on Wednesday announced that the interface could not hold due to absence of Ribadu and General Musa.
President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio who made the announcement, said apology was received from Ribadu on his absence, but that he and the Chief of Defence Staff must be present at the very important session.
He added that aside Ribadu and General Musa, the Senate has also resolved to add other security heads to the planned interface session.
Those included at the planned session now postponed to Tuesday next week are the Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru; Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle; Minister of Police Affairs, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam; Minister of State for Police Affairs , Imaan Suleiman-Ibrahim; Minister of Interior, Hon Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo; Minister of Finance, Olawale Edun and the Director General of National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
In his general remarks, the Senate President thanked the available Service Chiefs for honouring the invitation of the Red Chamber.
He said: “We thank you all for honouring our invitation for the very important interface on way out of the lingering security crisis at hand. But due to the absence of the NSA and the Chief of Defence Staff, the interactive session will no longer hold today.”
“Besides, the Senate in its wisdom has decided to add other public officers whose offices are connected to security matters, to be part of the interactive session.
“Clerk of the Senate, has been directed to write them ahead of Tuesday next week, now fixed for the session.
“We need their presence along with those of you here today, for holistic and comprehensive brainstorming on the problem at hand and required solution”, he said.