By ADEBIYI ADEDAPO, Abuja
The House of Representatives on Thursday abruptly adjourned the plenary and suspended all legislative activities until next week to express its displeasure over the recent killings in Kaduna State.
The House adjourned the plenary session after an intensive debate on the security situation in the country following a motion of urgent public importance moved by Shehu Balarabe, a Member representing Birnin Gwari/Giwa Federal Constituency of State from Kaduna.
Balarabe lamented that armed bandits have over the past week invaded the two local government areas he represents and have killed dozens of people, raped, mutilated, displaced many people and destroyed property worth several million naira.
While contributing to the motion, House Leader Alhassan Ado Doguwa said Nigerians should be allowed to take up arms and defend themselves against gunmen.
Doguwa said there was a “monumental failure” in the country’s security architecture.
“Mr. President, I am speaking as the Majority Leader who is of course the government’s ambassador on this floor.
“When you have a government in place, the main responsibility of that government, especially a democratic government elected by the people, is to ensure the safety of lives and property of innocent citizens.
“Mr. Speaker, when things like this continue on a daily basis, those of us who are government officials become speechless. We are becoming speechless here in defense of the government’s actions. It is an elected government, under a popular democracy but day after day, there are killings, massacres, armed robberies everywhere, left, right and center.
“This is a single local government report of the 774. Giwa local government and the Giwa case is not just a new case, it (the mover) does not give us than the most recent event.Giwa has been engulfed in banditry and murder for the past two or three years.
“Giwa coincidentally fell into a state (Kaduna) where you have the representation of the Nigerian army and other security agencies – the highest place you can count is in the northern part of the country. Why should this thing keep happening?
“The government in this case must take its responsibilities. Call a cat a cat. If it comes to funding, each of us here knows that we have never had reason to consider funding our security agencies. I believe our relevant committees track the implementation of this funding through our budget, their oversight processes. Why should things continue like this? We are here for the Nigerian people and we must speak for the Nigerian people.
“We can’t sit here and fold our arms. I think if there’s anything else I should add to this motion, Mr. Chairman, with all due respect to the existence of our institution, because of this institutional failure and the regimental failure on the part of from our security agencies because you simply have no reason to raise an excuse for any of them.
“With all the sense of responsibility, with all the sense of commitment, with the fact that yes, even after this world, we will all rise to answer in the name of our father in the world to come to account for our actions I think Nigerians should at this time be allowed to take up arms as well.
“Nigerians must be allowed to take up arms to defend their innocent souls, defend their hard-earned resources and assets.
“If the security agencies have failed, then Nigerians should not be considered failures. Let Nigerians organize for civil defence. Let them organize and defend their innocent souls, because if the accountability of government and security agencies cannot be exercised democratically, then let us go to the jungle,” said Hon. Doguwa said.
Meanwhile, another member of the House, the Hon. Nasir Ahmed, also called for the dismissal of National Security Advisor Major General. Babagana Monguno (rtd).
Ahmed said, “Do we have a national security adviser? He asked.
“Are we saying that the army, the Nigerian navy, the air force, the police and the DSS with all the training that they have received, with all the international training that they have gone to – they went to peacekeeping, that a motley army of 16 to 17 year old boys (bandits) are more powerful than them?
“Mr. President, this madness must stop. It just has to stop. You are traveling by road, you are kidnapped; you leave by train, you are kidnapped, last week the airport was attacked by bandits; you sit at home, you get kidnapped, you send your kids to school, they get kidnapped. Mr President, a few weeks ago someone was kidnapped from a hospital. Where are you going to stay? You can be kidnapped in this room.
“What do we say to our people who elected us? Do we just cross our arms? I want to take this opportunity again and call the National Security Advisor – he needs to be fired.