The National Assembly last week asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits who have made life hellish for Nigerians, especially in the North-West as terrorists.
It is no longer news that the bandits’ reign of terror in Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, and Sokoto, among others, had led to the death of hundreds of Nigerians, not forgetting the kidnapping of school children for ransom, destruction of property, and crippling of the socio-economic life of the people.
We picked two other developments that emerged from the parliament for your attention.
Harassing Buhari to rename bandits
The Senate had on September 29 asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits as terrorists and go after their leaders for possible prosecution.
The upper legislative chamber’s resolution followed the adoption of a motion moved by Senator Ibrahim Gobir and eight other senators.
Twenty-four hours later, the House of Representatives, through the Chairman of its Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, re-echoed the Senate demand at a plenary.
Benson said: “I will like to echo the same sentiment and ask colleagues to join the Senate in urging Mr. President to declare bandits and their sponsors as terrorists.”
The lawmakers appeared to have finally realized that nobody in Nigeria, including the elite, is free from the bandits who have taken the country by the jugular.
Their demand was a confirmation that Nigerians had become frustrated by the inability of the government to move decisively against the bandits who have continued to pillage communities in the North-West with reckless abandon.
By taking the gauntlet, the National Assembly has asked the President who has failed to lead from the front as the country’s Commander-in-Chief to wake up from his long slumber and demand the complete and total decimation of the bandits and other abduction-for-ransom syndicates in various parts of the country.
Only such a move will appease Nigerians who have completely lost trust in the government and its inability to protect them from the marauders.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“This was a President that told us he will never go on any medical check-up or trip abroad and actually condemned the huge amount of money spent on medical movement outside before he was elected in 2015 and shortly after he lived abroad more than in Nigeria.
“So, when the COVID-19 business started, we were assured that medical facilities in Nigeria will be upgraded and that there will be no need for so much of our monies being spent abroad. We are just surprised that nothing has changed as he is still depending on foreign facilities than in Nigeria?”
Answer: See end of post
Reps rejection of Buhari’s address at UN
The Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives on October 2 faulted President Buhari’s speech at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States.
The caucus in a statement issued by the Minority Leader in the House, Ndudi Elumelu, insisted that Buhari’s address to world leaders at the UNGA76 was at variance with the harsh realities in the country.
He said: “The caucus is distressed over claims in President Buhari’s address which are in complete disagreement with the ugly reality of the failures of his administration, as well as the economic, security, and social ruins that have confronted the nation under his watch.”
The caucus reaction to the President’s address was another confirmation that all is not well with Nigeria under the present leadership.
When a government is unwanted, and nothing it says makes sense to most citizens, it shows that those at the helm of affairs have overstayed their welcome and are no longer trusted with the leadership of the country.
The lawmakers’ reaction is, therefore, a challenge to the government to up its game and tackle headlong the various challenges including insecurity, poor economy, and corruption in order to pull the country from the brinks.
Southern Senators on agitations for secession
Senators under the umbrella of the Southern Senators’ Forum on October 1 renewed their commitment to a united and prosperous Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Forum, Opeyemi Bamidele, and the Secretary-General, Chukwuka Utazi, in a statement to mark Nigeria’s 61st Independence anniversary, cautioned the citizens against inflammatory statements and divisive actions in the days leading to the 2023 general elections.
The Southern Senators’ position on the current move by some groups and individuals to dismember the country serves as a reminder to Nigerians on how divided we have become as a nation.
The deepening fault lines, no doubt, are largely a result of perceived injustice in the federation which many have blamed on the ruling party’s failure, under President Buhari, to manage the country’s diversity.
Applying brute force, instead of genuine dialogue, to contain the widening gulf will certainly exacerbate the already volatile situation, and it would be interesting to see how the leadership reassures the people that the Nigerian project is a relationship between and among equal partners.
Answer: Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe
Abaribe, who is the Senate Minority Leader, stated this when featured in a Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today, on March 31.
He represents Abia South Senatorial District in the upper legislative chamber.
By John Chukwu
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