Considering the high number of mindless killings in Benue, Taraba and Zamfara states, it’s shocking that Nigeria’s security agencies were still caught unawares as rampaging killers killed over 100 innocent souls last week in Plateau.
Senate President Bukola Saraki has disclosed that the National Assembly foresaw the current spate of killings in parts of the country, hence its recent invitation of security chiefs with a view to nipping the problem in the bud.
He said some of the killings could have been prevented had the necessary action been taken by the appropriate agencies.
He regretted that some of the security chiefs misconstrued the intention of the federal lawmakers and chose to ignore the invitation.
“We are beginning to see the wisdom in some of the things we were saying. We have always stood for what we believe is good for this country. We always politicise everything in this country,” Saraki told reporters in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
But he vowed that the National Assembly under his leadership would not shirk its responsibility.
His words: “The National Assembly under my leadership, many months ago, had seen the danger. We had called for security summit to address the issue of security architecture.
“We had seen the need for us to review the security structure. We had invited service chiefs on the matter. You are all very aware that some service chiefs decided in their own wisdom that there is no need for them to work with the NASS to address these issues.”
Saraki said the security challenge requires a drastic action immediately.
“There is no society experiencing incessant killings as it is and then we think it is business as usual,” he said.
“It requires drastic action. It requires collective collaboration of all agencies and all arms of government for us to be serious. We on our part at the NASS, we will not get frustrated but we have been sounding this alarm.
“A society where gunmen could go in, shoot for seven hours and nobody is caught, that is not a normal society.”
He said that the National Assembly will, on resumption from recess, continue to “ensure that those who have the responsibility of protecting lives and property are accountable to the people.”
“It cannot continue. It is not something to be politicized. If somebody is not capable he should give way for others that are competent. We have heard that security personnel are working at cross purposes. A is not talking to B and B is not talking to C. They don’t attend meetings jointly. Things need to be done.
“Let us forget about party, these are people’s lives. It is not about the Speaker of House of Representatives or the Senate President, it is about Nigeria.
“The sooner we see that and address this, the better. Some of these could have been prevented since we have been shouting about this.
“Until we sit down – the presidency and legislature – to thrash out the issues…We must discuss the issues. Something needs to be done. Something is wrong. This cannot continue.”