29 November 2012

Nigeria: Terrorism - Lawmakers Fear Attack On National Assembly Complex

Photo: Vanguard
National security

The House of Representatives Wednesday decried the growing wave of insecurity in the country and expressed fears that the National Assembly might not be safe; given the rate of attacks on security formations in recent days.

The lawmakers said the serial attacks on the military church at the Command and Staff College, Jaji last Sunday and the raid on the headquarters of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), Abuja less than 24 hours later had raised a lot of questions about the readiness of the security agencies to defend public places and institutions.

The National Assembly Complex has remained under a security cordon since the October 1, 2010 bomb blast near the Eagle Square, Central Area of Abuja.

The lawmakers, in a motion of urgent national importance, said the insecurity had gotten to a level where no public facility could be considered safe any longer.

The debate on national security concerns was sequel to a motion brought to the floor by Hon. Abubakar Momoh, representing Estako Federal Constituency of Edo State.

Momoh had in his motion drawn the attention of the House to the recent armed robbery incident at Auchi, Edo State.

Daredevil armed robbers had stormed the town, raided banks and police stations, leaving behind sorrow, tears and blood.

The consensus of opinion among the legislators was that the level of insecurity in the country had reached an embarrassing peak that the parliament cannot afford to ignore.

They argued that if the terrorists attack security institutions with so much ease and precision, they could one day invade the National Assembly.

In his contribution to the debate, Minority Whip of the House, Hon Samson Osagie, urged the Federal Government to explore and deploy new strategies in combating terrorism and other security challenges in the country.

The parliament, Osagie said, cannot afford to fold its arms and watch citizens being killed and maimed every day.

He said that emphasis must be placed on intelligence gathering, counter-terrorism training and procurement of modern communication gadgets and sophisticated firearms for security personnel.

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