26 February 2014

Nigeria: Yobe Killings - Senate Urges Chief of Army Staff to Relocate to Maiduguri

Photo: Vanguard
Terrorism in Nigeria.

The Senate Committee on Defence and Army on Wednesday in Abuja urged the Chief of Army Staff to relocate temporarily to Maiduguri.

The Sen. Thompson Sekibo-led Committee made the call at the 2014 budget defence of the committee.

Sekibo said the committee condemned what it described as the atrocity being unleashed by the Boko Haram sect on innocent citizens of North Eastern Nigeria.

He said that as part of measures to curb the activities of the Boko Haram sect, the committee also wanted all schools and health institutions from now on to be provided with special security.

"We heard of your planned relocation to Maiduguri, we hereby as the committee overseeing your activities, direct that your office relocate temporarily to the 7th Division in Maiduguri.

"This is so that you take urgent and appropriate steps to quell the situation.

"The Chief of Army staff should also restrategise on possible new ways of curbing these excesses and mobilise all military resources and face the insurgents,"Sekibo said.

He said because of the situation, the committee would receive the budget proposals without going through the lines.

"No one goes to the town square to dance when there is fire in his house.

"For us, the quelling of this insurgency and giving confidence of safety to Nigerians is of utmost priority."

The committee further called on President Goodluck Jonathan to mobilise all the needed resources for the Armed Forces to face the challenge.

"This battle must be won to sustain our nation's stability and unity as it is only in the atmosphere of peace and tranquillity that development can be carried out," Sekibo said.

He also said the committee would take a tour of the three affected states when senate resumed from its recess.

In his response, the Chief of Army Staff Maj.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah said that the Army was in dire need of more funds.

Minimah assured the committee that the Army was up to the task and it was just a matter of time before it would bring the insurgents to their knees.

Meanwhile, the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba has described the Tuesday Yobe killings as "crossing the border of decency".

In a personally signed statement, Ndoma-Egba said the killing of about 40 students showed that the sect planned to plunge Nigeria into a "bleak and blank future".

The Senate Leader said: "It is obvious that we are now dealing with a bunch of animals to whom human life is now totally meaningless and worthless.

"When you attack students, you are attacking the foundation of the country's future. So this attack to me, is to plunge the nation into a bleak and blank future."

He called for an urgent modification of the security strategy to include hot pursuit as this was permissible in international law.(NAN)

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