Abuja — Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesdaydemanded that security agencies take responsibility for failing to stop the abduction of 110 schoolgirls in Dapchi, Yobe State, describing as unacceptable, the ongoing buck passing between the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force.
He said rather than trading blame, the various security agencies should strengthen inter-agency collaboration and intensify efforts towards rescuing the girls.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hassan Turaki, the Speaker further condemned statements credited to both security agencies.
He said: "The statements credited to the army and police in which they tried to exonerate themselves from any culpability in the unfortunate and embarrassing abduction of innocent girls from their school in Dapchi , Yobe State, is highly condemnable.
"This is unacceptable and the House of Representatives, and indeed, Nigerians, will hold the security agencies responsible. They all bear responsibility for this unfortunate incident."
According to him, "The traumatic experience of the Chibok abduction which is still fresh in our minds should have serve as a warning signal to security agencies to provide adequate security protection to all schools in the North-east.
"I want to use this medium to console the parents of the abducted girls and the entire Dapchi community over this unfortunate incident.
"I also urge all Nigerians and people of goodwill from all over the world to pray for the safe return of the girls."
His condemnation came on a day the House passed a motion urging the federal government to mobilise every security apparatus, including the army, air force, and the Directorate of State Security (DSS), to rescue the abducted "innocent school students and reunite them with their parents as soon as possible."
It further asked the federal government to focus additional efforts on providing enhanced security to children schooling in Yobe, Borno and other states in the North-east to forestall further abductions.
The resolution of the lower chamber followed a motion brought under matters of urgent public importance by Hon. Goni Bukar Lawan (APC, Yobe) on the need to rescue the 110 abducted students of Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi in Busari Local Government Area of Yobe State.
The House further mandated its Committees on National Security and Intelligence and Air Force to as a matter of urgency visit Dapchi as well as approved the setting up of an adhoc committee to probe the incident and report back to the House.
The green chamber also observed one-minute silence to sympathise with grieving parents of abducted students as well as the governor of the state.
The motion further invited the service chiefs to brief the House on the security situation in the country.
However, Lawan, in his lead debate, expressed concern that the unfortunate incident had been going on not only in Yobe State but in various part of the North-East, especially Borno and Adamawa States, without any pro-active measure in place to forestall further occurrences.
He particularly expressed shock at the removal of a military checkpoint leading to the affected local government area only one week before the attacks.
Lawmakers generally agreed that the country had not learnt its lessons from the Chibok attack in which some the girls abducted are yet to be rescued.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to halt the feasting with the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains in Aso Villa and show leadership by visiting the troubled Dapchi, Yobe State, to get a first hand information on the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the 110 school girls under his watch.
PDP said if the noble advice is heeded by Mr. President, it will bridge the disconnect between him and Nigerians, who daily lament the aloofness of their leader.
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, said it was disheartening that while the parents of our abducted daughters are wailing and the insurgents are fleeing deeper, the President and his APC leaders are busy feasting in the Presidential Villa and plotting their bound-to-fail 2019 re-election campaign.
"President Buhari has completely reneged on his assurances, before his election, to be a father to all and to lead the fight against insurgency from the fronts," the party added.
"Nigerians are worried that he has now allowed himself to be holed in the safety and luxury of the presidential villa while citizens are being slaughtered and taken captives by marauders and insurgents."
The party added: "Nigerians are shocked that the presidential mandate of protecting lives has now been reduced to a cosmetic dispatching of ministers and persons with no knowledge of security, including those known to be falsifying performance indices, on mere fact-finding missions, while machinery for proactive security measures are left unattended."
It said Nigerians are daily slaughtered and taken as captives because those who have the direct mandate to protect them are more interested in their ill-lucked 2019 re-election ambition while the citizens are left to whatever fate befell them.
PDP added: "Painfully, Nigerians are yet to see any concrete action taken by the Buhari Presidency to apprehend the perpetrators of the gruesome killings in Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Adamawa, Borno, Plateau, Nasarawa and Yobe, among other states where our citizens are being hacked down by marauders and insurgents.
"They are yet to see any step so far taken, outside empty promises, to end or even reduce the carnage. "Most appalling is the fact that while the parents of our 110 abducted Dapchi daughters are still wailing and insurgents driving into deeper recesses, the president and his partymen are busy feasting in the Presidential villa and plotting their 2019 campaigns; of course, with funds meant for the wellbeing of the people and our nation."
The party said that President Buhari-led government and "discredited" APC-controlled Federal Government holds Nigerians in total disdain.
This administration is completely insensitive to the plight of the people and it is not a surprise that majority of Nigerians are more than prepared to reject them at the polls come 2019.
PDP pleaded with President Buhari to show leadership by immediately calling off his feasting in the Presidential Villa and take that bold step to visit Dapchi, where a soothing word from him will be a balm for the distraught community.
It also urged him to take decisive steps to scale up action for the return of our girls in spite of the huge speculations that has filled the air, advising the President to keep his words to lead from the fronts.