It was a classic Ahmed Lawan beating about the bush last week. While making a remark on the incessant Boko Haram killings in Borno State, the Senate President, during last Thursday’s plenary, took an indirect swipe at service chiefs.
He said, “Our Armed Forces have their challenges and therefore, we will continue to look at those challenges and try to address them. Where however anybody is found wanting, our stand should be that people should occupy offices based on their performance.
“There’s no point if somebody is not registering successes for such person to continue to be there, but that is if you give that person the necessary tools to fight.”
Lawan’s shot was an aftermath of the motion sponsored and presented by Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC – Borno North); and co-sponsored by Senators Kashim Shettima (APC – Borno Central) and Ali Ndume (APC – Borno South) on the nagging insecurity in the State and other parts of the North.
Relying on order 42 and 52 of the Senate standing rules, Kyari decried the killing of 90 people, on June 9, in Foduma Kolum village under Gubio Local Government Area of the State by the Boko Haram terrorists.
Worried over the killings, which he described as “senseless killings,” he added that in recent weeks, on May 17, 17 people were killed in Gajiagana, Magumeri Local Government Area and on May 22, 33 people were killed in Nganzai Local Government Area of the State.
We understand Lawan’s struggles in trying not to hit directly at the country’s security chiefs who many believe have failed woefully in discharging their responsibilities to Nigerians. He needed to sound politically correct!
But let it be said that a preponderance of Nigerians want all the service chiefs fired! There is really no need to beat about the bush. And, of course, we don’t need the European Union to remind us that no less than 160 people, including 130 civilians were killed in the North in 19 days, between May 28 and June 16.
Lawan must realize that calls for the sack of service chiefs have already reached a crescendo. He has a duty to rally other parliamentarians of ilk to speak truth to the president.
A spade must be called a spade!
NASS MEMORY LANE
“There is no single day in Borno State that Boko Haram will not kill people in one village or the other and I believe that every life matters to this House”
Answer: See end of post.
Two other stories
Still on rape victims
The Nigerian Senate is not wasting time in deploying all the legislative powers within its arsenal to fight the challenge of rape sweeping across the country.
Last Wednesday, the lawmakers considered a critical bill that would help arrest sexual harassment and provide protection for victims of rape against any form of stigmatization in the country.
Tagged, “Rape and Insurgency Victims Stigmatisation (Prohibition) Bill 2019,” it is sponsored by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa and seeks to ensure prosecution and punishment of any person or group of persons who stigmatise such victims.
“The bill is to provide for the legal and institutional framework for the protocol for re-integration of victims of rape and insurgency in Nigeria. If this bill is passed into law, it would certainly provide a new lease of life for victims of rape and insurgency in the country,” Musa said.
The Senate deserves to be extolled for their efforts in wrestling the rape epidemic that has hit the country. Opinions are rife that one of the reasons for the awful growing trend of rape is lack of proper and enforceable legislations.
And, as the lawmakers work hard to fill this gap, it is trite to acknowledge that there is hope ahead to address the societal scourge.
Nothing would serve more as a confidence booster than a law that would effectively protect rape victims from the trauma that society may heap on them due to no reason of theirs.
Elumelu on 1,000 detained Nigerians
The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, at a plenary last Tuesday, raised the alarm over alleged detention of over 1,000 workers, since March 24, at a Chinese company located at Ugua community in Edo State.
This, Elumelu, disclosed in a motion entitled: “Need to investigate an SOS call that a Chinese Company in Edo State of Nigeria has continued to detain its Nigerian Workers Since the Lockdown, in Fragrant Abuse of the FG’s COVID-19 Regulations.”
He said, “The House is aware that the workers, numbering over 1,000 are holed up there in 10 persons-to-a-room bunker, making them live in a hazardous environment which has hindered the health of most of the workers. These staffers are being made to work in slavish conditions 24 hours round the clock, day in and out for the last three months.”
After Elumelu’s motion, the House, among others, called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to immediately send a crack team to investigate the Chinese company identified as Yongxing Steel, with a view to ascertaining the veracity of the claims against the firm.
Elumelu’s motion tallies with the minimum expectation ￼of citizens from their representatives who oftentimes seem to be catering for mostly selfish and greedy interests.
The Inspector General of Police must be quick to respond to this emergency. So also should the authorities overseeing the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nonetheless, it would be good for the House to ensure that this matter is not swept under the carpet. Ensuring that the IGP and his men do the needful should occupy the minds of the legislators. And, besides, bringing the owner and/or perpetrators of this abuse to face the full wrath of the law would serve as a deterrent to others.
Answer: Zainab Gimba
The statement was made by Zainab Gimba who represents Bama/Ngala/Kalabalge Federal Constituency, Borno State.
She made the statement on June 10, 2020, while appealing to the Federal Government to be aggressive in fighting insecurity as it has done with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
By John Chukwu…