Declare War On Boko Haram Now..Senators Order Jonathan

There were fears in the Senate yesterday that the 2015 general election might not hold in February next year as scheduled if the dreadful activities of Boko Haram insurgents in the North-eastern part of the country continue.

The Senate, which resumed from eight-week recess, expressed concerns that Boko Haram had taken over a number of communities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, prompting a resolution that President Goodluck Jonathan should now declare total war against the insurgents, saying it is now clear that the nation is at war.

The Senate also mandated its leadership as well as chairmen of security committees and senators from the North-east to meet with the president and leadership of security agencies on steps taken thus far as well as further steps to be taken in the battle against insurgency and report the output of the meeting to the National Assembly.

The resolutions followed a motion moved by the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, and supported by 107 senators.

Ndoma-Egba, in the motion, expressed concerns that security situation in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States had deteriorated to the extent of declaring some local government areas in the three states as a caliphate with implication that such areas are no longer parts of Nigeria.

The Lawmaker who also said the Senate was worried that the security situation in the North-east had continued to deteriorate despite the imposition of a state of emergency in the area, added that the level of re-grouping and re-surge of the members of Boko Haram had become alarming and highly inhuman.

Speaking on the motion, Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South), expressed disappointment that the leadership of the Senate failed to recall members to reconvene during their recess despite the alarming spate of insurgency consuming the three states.

Ndume, who said he visited the residence of Senate President, David Mark, during the period to make case for a recall of senators to deal with the emergency, said Mark was not available but he eventually met the Senate leader on the matter. He described the decision of Senate leadership to remain silent in the face of overwhelming insecurity in the three states as a show of insensitivity to the affected people.

But while defending Senate leadership, Mark said he didn’t recall his colleagues because he felt that security matters were not meant to be discussed in the open, explaining that it was against that background that he ordered the committee on defence to meet with service chiefs.

Also speaking, Senator Maiji Lawan (Borno North) who said a bunch of “irresponsible” and “mad people” had declared war on the sovereignty of Nigeria, alleged that he and his people felt neglected, adding that Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, is now the largest refugee centre in the whole world because people from different parts of the state have fled to the state capital for safety.

In her contribution, Senator Esther Usman (Kaduna South), who emphasised the need to rise against the situation, said if others sat on the fence because they felt secured in their domains, some day, they would be caught in Boko Haram’s wild fire and also become consumed.

In the same vein, Senator Bello Tukur (Adamawa Central) narrated how Madagali, Michika, Gulak and Mubi had been taken over by Boko Haram members after successfully dispersing the military, explaining how the Emir of Mubi along with the residents had to flee to Yola, the Adamawa State capital, for survival.

He also said the spate of killings in Madagali and Michika Local Government Areas were so alarming that nobody could ascertain the number of people killed by the insurgents as he wondered why neighbouring countries such as Cameroun had been able to contain the insurgents whereas they are attempting to overrun Nigeria. He also narrated how people were exposed to danger when the troops which ought to protect them took to their heels.

Also, Senate Bukar Abbar Ibrahim (Yobe East) narrated how the district is now under the control of Boko Haram insurgents.

However, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, warned his colleagues against treating the activities of Boko Haram with kid gloves, citing Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution which states that security and welfare of the people shall be the primary responsibility of the government.

With emotion laden-voice, Ekweremadu who said anywhere he visited across the globe, people kept asking him about the activities of Boko Haram, noted that if decisive action was not taken to ward off insurgency in the land, 2015 elections might not hold as scheduled.

While throwing his weight behind Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate Leader, Abdul Ningi, cited Section 2 of the constitution which states that “Nigeria is one indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name Federal Republic of Nigeria,” lamenting that Nigeria cannot be said to be an indissoluble sovereign state today because Boko Haram members have ceded a number of communities to themselves.

Earlier in his welcome speech, Mark, who said activities of Boko Haram attained an alarming rate during the recess, said the insurgents had become so daring to the extent of hoisting flags in expression of their collective assault on the nation.
He said: “The escalation of violence and the heinous crimes daily perpetrated by insurgents and terrorists including the declaration of a Caliphate has reached alarming proportions. Regrettably, the Boko Haram s

Also yesterday, the Senate resolved to consider $1 billion loan request made by President Goodluck Jonathan on July 16.

Accordingly, the parliament referred the request to Senate committees on finance and foreign and local debts.

The committees will report back to the parliament within one week.
Jonathan had urged the senators to approve the request to enable the federal government upgrade military equipment in the renewed bid to fight Boko Haram.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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