SenatorsTuesday lampooned President Muhammadu Buhari in his handling of security situation in Nigeria that has led to massive killing and wanton destruction of property across the country, saying that the President lacks the Legitimacy to remain in power as he can no longer provide for the security of lives property.
The Senators on the floor of plenary questioned why President Buhari should continue to remain in office as Commander-In-Chief if he cannot marshal the country’s security to protect the people.
The Vote of No -Confidence in Buhari’s inability to secure Nigeria comes in the wake of Saturday’s brutal massacre of 43 rice farmers in Zabarmari District of Jere Local Government Area of Borno State. According to the Senators, President Buhari has breached the 1999 Constitution as amended against the backdrop that has failed to adhere to section 14(1) of 1999 Constitution which has to do with the government and the people as well as stipulates that the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a state based on the principles of democracy and Social Justice.
The Senate said that Nigeria as a nation cannot move forward until the lives of every Nigerian is protected and secured, just as it stressed that the primary objective of government is the provision of security and the protection of its citizens, adding that protecting the lives and property of citizens is the primary obligation of government and any government that cannot discharge this basic obligation losses any iota of legitimacy.
Resolutions of the Senate Tuesday were sequel to a motion entitled, ” Beheading of 67 Farmers in Borno by Boko Haram insurgents: Need for Urgent Decisive Action” and sponsored by Senator Kassim Shettima, All Progressives Congress, APC, Borno Central and co- sponsored by 17 other Senators.
The Senate which read riot act to the President, asked him to immediately sack the Service Chiefs and appoint fresh ones against the backdrop that the present have lost their usefulness and have nothing to offer the country towards nipping in the bud, the security challenges in the country.
It asked the President to immediately initiate a way of sacking the current overstayed service chiefs and replace them with new ones with new ideas and solutions.
According to the Senate, the time has come for Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; National Security Adviser, NSA, Major- General Mohammed Babagana Monguno; Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Marshal Ibok- Ete Ibas to go because they have outlived their usefulness.
The Upper Chamber has also said that sixty- seven farmers were killed in very gruesome manner in Borno State on Saturday as against the forty- three being reported.
The lawmakers adopted these after almost an hour-long deliberation on insecurity across the country and the recent killing of 43 farmers in Borno State.
Recall that there was Saturday mass killing of rice farmers in Zabarmari community in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State. The victims were buried on Sunday and a delegation of the federal government led by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, paid a condolence visit to the state on Monday.
The Senate urged President Buhari to take immediate steps to restructure, remodel: and revamp the country’s entire security architecture and provide enough state-of-the-art weapons and equipment to effectively combat the belligerent power of the insurgents.
The Upper Chamber also called on the President to immediately initiate probe into widespread allegations of corruption and leakages within the security structure and put mechanisms in place to foster transparency and ensure all resources meant and deployed for security are actually spent on the needs on ground.
The Senate also urged the Federal Government to aggressively explore multilateral and bilateral options of partnership with the neighboring nations of Chad, Niger and Cameroons toward reviving and strengthening the Multinational Joint Task Force and finding a lasting solution to the scourge of insurge.cy in the Lake Chad region.
The Upper Chamber on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, recruit it least 10,000 Civilian JIF, versatile with the local terrain in Borno as Agro-Rangers under the aegis of the NCDSC to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
The Senate which also asked the Federal Government to direct the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and North East Development Commission, NEDC to provide Succour and psychological support to the bereaved families, adding that the Federal Government should provide proper welfare for security personnel fighting in the frontlines and give prime attention to the compensation and welfare of fallen soldiers as that would boost the soldiers morale and aid their concentration.
The Senate also asked the Federal and State Governments must adequately address all immediate and remote causes of insecurity in the nation which will include comprehensive packages on education, employment and other social vices. Prior to the motion, the Senators had entered a close session for over thirty minutes where it was resolved by the lawmakers that the insecurity situation in the country was getting out of hand and that the time has come for them to be blunt and tell themselves the truth if the challenge must be nipped in the bud. Anger and serious despondency surprisingly came from die-hard Pro-Buhari lawmakers from the core North of Nigeria.
Presenting the motion, Senator Kashim Shettima who fired the first salvo, called for an urgent decisive action against Boko Haram, even as he said that the primary responsibility of government is to protect the lives and property of citizen.
Shettima who lamented the rice farm massacre; especially the information that the killings took place not too far away from the location of Nigeria security agencies, said, “Disheartened that more than 67 citizens were beheaded while they were working in their farmland without any form of resistance or challenge from the security stationed a few kilometre away.
He said that the Nigerian military in conjunction with other security agencies have not been able to quell the insurgency affecting the region in spite the slogan by government officials that the insurgents have been technically defeated.
Senator Shettima said that the “Senate: Notes that Borno State lias been the epicenter of the despicable activities of Boko Haram for over decade during which a conservative estimate of 40,000 people mostly unarmed civilians were brutally murdered, 2.5 million people displaced from their homes and farms, property worth trillions of naira wantonly destroyed and over 7 million people mostly women and children plunged into dire humanitarian needs;
“Notes also that the fight to control the border axis of the North-Eastern part of this country has claimed thousands of lives (Military and Civilian alike).
That the fallen men and women of our military, police and CJTF are our National Fleroes whom we must remember, pray for and care for their loved ones till the end of time.”
According to him, the Senate is “Aware that over the weekend, Boko Haram insurgent members beheaded 67 farmers who had gone to a rice plantation at Kwashabe village in Zabarmari District of Jere Local Government Area, 20 kilometres north o: Maiduguri, Borno State Capital to harvest ripe farm produce and destroyed the farm.
“Observes that this attack is one of the major attacks perpetrated by this devilish group in addition to the February attack in Auno that killed 40 people, the assault in Foduma Koloram village of Gubio that killed almost 100 civilians in last June while another attack in Usman Lawanti left another 40 dead.
“Further observes that last month, Boko Haram fighters killed 22 farmers working on irrigation fields near Maiduguri in two separate incidents.”
According to him, ” the Senate further observes that while Nigerian army’s Super Camp strategy has commendably helped in reducing military fatalities, it has left rural areas, farms and road acutely exposed to attacks.
“Further observes that as The Wall Street Journal documented in a recent report and as supported by the testimonies of victims and survivors, while Maiduguri and other major cities are relatively safe, thanks to the efforts of this administration, Boko Haram insurgents are literally ruling our rural areas and tarms such as the Damaturu-Maiduguri road especially around Jakana, Damboa-Maiduguri and Damaturu-Dapchi road where they rounded checkpoints, rob, kill, destroy and abduct at will.
“Further observes that the recent spike on deliberate, consistent and systematic targeting of herders, fishermen, loggers and now farmers will exacerbate the major food crisis in the North, lead an unprecedented surge in food prices across Nigeria and seriously damage our country’s economy;