Insecurity: Senate, Presidency To Hold National Security CONFAB

July 16, 2019

According to a report by The Nation, the gruesome murder of the daughter of Afenifere leader, Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, was hotly debated in the Senate Tuesday.

Senators took turns to point a way out of increasing insecurity in parts of the country.

At the end of the debate, the upper chamber resolved to hold a national security conference to address security challenges facing the country.

The resolution followed a Point of Order on the murder of Mrs. Olakunrin on Friday by gunmen in Ondo State along Ore-Benin Expressway.

Senator Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo central) who raised the Point of Order expressed regret over the death of Mrs. Olakunrin.

The Ondo Central senator feared that with the mounting security challenges, foreign investors would be scared off the country.

The proposed security summit is coming about 17 months after the Senate held a similar conference to address security challenges.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said that the security conference would be held in conjunction with the Executive arm of Government.

The Eight Senate in February 2018 organised a national security submit in which the Executive arm of Government was adequately represented.

Lawan who was the then Senate Leader, was chairman of the ad-hoc committee that organised the security summit.

The Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the conference.

Some security chiefs who attended the conference presented papers and made suggestions about how the country should handle the security challenges in the country.

Lawan later presented the report and recommendations of the conference to Senate in plenary which were adopted.

The report of the summit was also submitted to the Presidency for necessary implementation.

Deputy Senate leader, Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice, in his contribution to the Point of Order said:

“It is unfortunate that her life was taken abruptly at her prime. I use this opportunity to express my condolence to the family.

“What has happened is not a targeted killing; it is a chance occurrence that could happen to any of us. All this has done is to heighten the insecurity.

“We all have a role to play to ensure this abnormality is restored. What I will not like to subscribe to is that this has been perpetrated by a certain group.

“From the various reports we have received in this chamber, Ibos have been killed, Yorubas have been killed, Hausas have been killed and Fulanis have been killed.

“So we must not succumb to the insinuation that what is happening is being perpetrated by a particular ethnic group. About two weeks ago there was kidnapping in the creeks of the riverine area of Ondo State.

“The perpetrators were arrested and were found to be indigene of the state. So I want to plead that we approach this with maturity.

“We should urge the security agencies to find lasting solution to this problem. The vice president when he visited Ondo State suggested the establishment of community policing which I think would help in minimizing the menace of kidnapping, and these killings.

“I am sure we would all agree that those who are involved if they have good jobs if they have meaningful means of employment they may not be involved in these nefarious activities.

“Government also has to address the problem of employment which is a major issue.”

On his own, Senator Tolu Odebiyi (Ogun West) said: “I am angry because we have come here several times to deliberate on how Nigerians are being killed left and right

“I grief over these killings because the family that lost their daughter is close to me.

“More importantly, we cannot just sit and watch how Nigerians who go about their lawful businesses are being killed left and right be it by hoodlums, be it by bandits, whoever they are.

“We have to demand an action by security forces, we have to demand an action from the presidency, we need to stand up and find solution to this problem.

“There is nothing that we do here that tells if we don’t get our security situation right in this country.

“Only last week we discussed here the issue of the Continental Free Trade Agreement and all to my surprise Ghana has now been made as headquarters of this continental free trade Agreement.

“This is a major loss for this country, economically it has major impact and these are the implications that happen when you don’t get your security situation right.

“It has major economic impact for this country and we cannot watch every day coming here mourning, grieving, weeping and observing one-minute silence as innocent Nigerians are being killed and no action is being taken.

“There is a feeling of hopelessness, helplessness and nothing we do here has any effect.

“So this Senate should rise up, if we need to send a delegation to the Presidency to sit down with them to find out what exactly is going on, which action plan we are taking to resolve this matter.

“Apart from security there must be other plans be it political to bring the various groups together to find a permanent alternative solution to resolve all these matters.

“I hope this senate will rise up and come to a conclusion today.”

Lawan in his ruling said: “This is one issue that we debated even last week with two motions and I believe that the security situation is all over the country and it is unfortunate that we had this incidence. “Therefore I suggest we should have a robust national summit on the security situation in this country.

“Instead of taking more time on this we should go through the prayers and try to arrange for the summit on national security to address the situation.

“The security situation in the country is perverse. It will be in the interest of the Senate to hold a security submit in conjunction with the Executive arm. All the issues raised here will be included.”

Apart from the security conference the Senate also resolved draw the attention of the Federal Government to the continued rising insecurity and tension in different parts of the country and the cry of Nigerians over incessant attacks on major highways with many lives lost.

The upper chamber condemned the gruesome murder of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin by unknown gunmen and commiserated with her family of the nonagenarian and elder statesmen, Pa Reuben Fasonrati on the grieve of loss of his daughter in the unfortunate gun attack.

The Senate urged the Inspector General of Police and Service Chiefs to urgently extend their dragnet to apprehend the culprits of the murder of Mrs. Olakunrin.

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