The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume, last week took a shocking view on the country’s security situation.
He said the Federal Government was winning the war against insecurity, insisting that no country in the world is without security challenges.
Ndume’s latest position has stirred up debates among Nigerians of various divides. We tracked two other stories from the National Assembly for your reading pleasure.
Ndume’s volte-face on insecurity
Ndume, who addressed journalists in Ilorin, Kwara State, on October 22, claimed Nigeria was winning the fight against insecurity, apart from recent attacks on soft targets, including last week’s bombing of an Abuja-Kaduna passenger train by bandits.
He said: “All I can say is that the insecurity in the country is going down, but it is not eliminated. It has not come to the end. And normally this kind of a thing is not that you say that it is. Even before we had this escalated situation, there were isolated cases of insecurity everywhere.
“It is normal in every country. But thank God the government is up to the task and we are doing very well.”
Arguably, Ndume’s dramatic U-turn on his earlier position on national security may have been informed by fresh realities. Interesting though is the fact that the same lawmaker had a few weeks ago criticised the Federal Government over its poor handling of the country’s security challenges.
Since his last remarks, attacks by bandits on individuals and properties in many parts of the country have continued unabated.
Bandits had about two weeks killed 43 people at Goronyo market in Sokoto. Several people escaped death when the hoodlums attacked a Kaduna-Abuja passenger train while the seizure of a military base in Yobe State by the Boko Haram insurgents is still fresh in the memory of most Nigerians.
Reports on students’ abductions remain a common feature on the front pages of national dailies amidst calls by the National Assembly for the Federal Government to declare the bandits as terrorists.
Although Ndume is entitled to his views, the sudden volte-face, matched against current realities, may just prove that hopes of imminent return to peace and stability in Nigerian could be far-fetched.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“The power sector is in a big problem because of lack of efficient and dynamic policies…I’ll give an example, at the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company there is a war on where the organisation belongs; is it in power or finance ministry? There is an issue with the Hydropower Development Authority on whether it should be in the Presidency or the power ministry.
“I believe that there are political machinations not to allow power to grow in this country. There are machinations to interfere with the power sector generally. We have multidimensional problems.”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
Still on renaming bandits terrorists
Senator Sani Musa on October 22 urged the Federal Government to declare the bandits as terrorists without further delay. He said the move would enable security agencies to lunch a full-scale war against the criminals.
Musa had said: “Unless and until we tag these criminals as terrorists, our security agencies will not have the unfettered power to treat them the way they should be treated.”
With calls for the declaration of bandits as terrorists growing, and government remaining taciturn, the Buhari administration must accept responsibility for duplicity in its management of key national security challenges.
And, this explains why it would continue to receive heavy criticisms for branding groups like IPOB terrorists while bandits known to have shot down military jets are allowed to prowl as vandals. Government’s disposition is clearly irreconcilable!
Safety on Nigerian waterways
A member of the House of Representatives, Wale Raji, on October 22, urged boat operators to comply with government’s safety regulations on waterways.
He said: “Boat operators should ensure that their passengers wear their lifejackets properly while onboard. Strict regulations and rules need to be adhered to while on waterways to avert any unwanted circumstances.”
Raji’s call is a no brainer. Across the world, safety of the waterways, and indeed other means of transportation, are given premium consideration for the businesses to thrive, and Nigeria cannot be an exception.
There are reports of boat mishaps in many parts of the country, and most of the incidents reportedly occur because of people’s flagrant disobedience of rules and regulations.
Beyond rhetorics, therefore, Raji and his colleagues in the National Assembly should strive to give teeth to relevant laws guiding operations in the country’s waterways.
Answer: Magaji Aliyu
Aliyu stated this on August 11 while speaking on the sidelines of the Association of Rural Electrification Contractors of Nigeria (ARECON) Annual General Meeting/awards ceremony.
He is the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Power.
The lawmaker represents Birnin-Kudu/Buji Constituency in the lower legislative chamber.
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