Worried by killings attributed to herdsmen across the country, Nigerian senators on Tuesday called for the sack of Nigeria’s military chiefs and appointment of new security chiefs who can introduce new strategies to stem the ongoing slaughter of the citizens.
Speaking during a debate on the reported killings of scores of villagers in Nasarawa South Senatorial District over the weekend, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to enlist the help of foreign nations in tackling the insecurity in the country.
Ekweremadu who presided over the plenary wondered: “I ask myself: Assuming this is happening in America, in the United Kingdom or France, will it take all this time to be resolved? As we know, not even in South Africa will this be allowed to fester.
“The answer is simply no, but it appears that we are taking too many things for granted. The time has come for us to seek help from other countries.
“We should not be ashamed to ask for help. The president met with the UK prime minister and she said that Britain would help us security wise. America is also offering to help.
“So, we should not be reluctant to come out openly to say we need help, because what we have now is a global village.”
In his contribution, Senator Adeola Solomon Olamilekan (Lagos APC) asked for the sack of the current heads of the security agencies: “What the president needs at this time are fresh ideas on how to tackle numerous security challenges confronting the nation. They (security chiefs) have exhausted their ideas.
“They have appeared before us in this chamber and told us why there will always be security challenges.
“We know the way the military organizations operate. Those with fresh ideas dare not speak up against their superiors or else they risk premature retirement from service.
“So, the current service chiefs should go, to allow officers with fresh ideas address our alarming security issues,” Olamilekan said.
Similarly, Senator Jeremiah Useni (Plateau APC) blamed inter-agency rivalry among the heads of some of the security agencies for their failure to tackle insecurity.
He called for the sack of the heads of the agencies involved in the inter-agency wrangling.
“On the day the president went to Plateau and the governor said the state was peaceful, 27 persons were killed,” Useni lamented.
Senator Sulaiman Adokwe (Nassarawa PDP), who moved the motion, said the attacks were carried out on people of Tiv ethnicity in Doma Local Government Area of his state.
“The real tragedy is not just in the coordination of the attacks, but that they continued for four days running without being checked by any of the security agencies,” he said.
“Indeed, right under the noses of the armed forces and the police, this killing is sustained, unabated by sheer negligence or refusal to act by the security agencies.
“It is very sad that in Nigeria, with all the security forces, a whole senatorial district will go on being punished by militia and no action comes from the government. This is a sad commentary,” Adokwe added.
The Senator said there was no response from the nearby Army base as the attack continued.
“This country is gradually dissolving into anarchy and we need to wake up,” Adokwe said.
Senator Barnabas Gemade (Benue APC) said Nigeria was experiencing anarchy and ethnic cleansing and becoming a state without control.
“It is a shame that a sitting government can watch criminality go to the level that we have seen today, but rather than rise up and take very decisive steps against it, we embark on denials and simply shield this evil with flimsy excuses that these are communal clashes in those communities,” he said.
Gemade said the attacks affected Tiv people in Nassarawa who he said are also being attacked in Benue and Taraba States.
“There can be no justice without peace,” he said, noting that Nigeria was being divided along tribal lines with “lords” and “slaves”.
Senator Ben Murray Bruce (Bayelsa PDP) warned that democracy will not survive if the situation continues.
“They (military) will strike and nothing will happen,” he cautioned.