23 May 2018

Nigeria: Insecurity - Senate in Closed-Door Session With Nigeria Military Chiefs, SSS DG

The Senate is currently holding an executive session with the Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin; the Director-General of State Security Service, Lawan Daura; and other service chiefs.

The service chiefs are the heads of the Nigerian Army, Air Force and Navy.

Mr Olonisakin led the delegation into the upper chamber at about 12:23 p.m. following the Senate's summon two weeks ago.

The service chiefs are to brief the lawmakers on the proliferation of dangerous firearms, spate of killings by terrorists as well as kidnappings by hoodlums across the country.

The Senate had on May 8 summoned all service chiefs; the Director-General of the State Security Service, the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali; and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, over possession of firearms by unauthorised persons in Nigeria.

The invitation was sequel to deliberations on a motion titled "Proliferation of dangerous firearms in Nigeria" sponsored by Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna North).

Mr Hunkuyi had called for the invitation of the service chiefs while lamenting the incessant killings in several parts of the country with reference to the most recent killings in Kaduna State on Saturday.

Overtime, Birnin-Gwari in Kaduna State and some villages in Maru Local Government of Zamfara State have been terrorised daily.

Armed bandits have not only killed and kidnapped residents of villages but destroyed properties too.

On Sunday, about 87 persons were abducted along Birnin-Gwari Road in Kaduna State by armed bandits who ambushed over 15 vehicles conveying them.

In his motion, Mr Hunkuyi stressed that tribal, communal, religious, and other sectarian clashes, including the farmers/herders crises, are now more devastating due to wrongful and easy acquisition of firearms, in violation of due process of such acquisition as laid down by the enabling laws and regulations.

He had expressed worry that despite the killings in Benue, Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara and other parts of Nigeria, since the start of the year, meaningful efforts were not being embarked upon to curtail the proliferation of firearms in Nigeria.

He also expressed disappointment that the various departments of government entrusted with the responsibility of checking and regulating the influx of firearms in Nigeria "have failed woefully in the discharge of this all important duty."

After reading out the next order of the day, which was the security briefing by the service chiefs, the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, moved that the Senate moved into committee of the whole and the invitees were called in.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, thereafter, announced their presence and said that the briefing be held in a closed-door session.


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