Boko Haram: Fear of attack at National Assembly grips lawmakers

Nigeria: National Assembly Security remained the issue yesterday, with scary lawmakers urging the executive to tackle the monster.

House of Representatives members declared the National Assembly a likely target of terrorists.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was worried that rampaging gunmen were killing people all over the country.

And the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government was helpless, going by the statement credited to its National Chairman Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who said the party “is not a security agency”.

Members of the House of Representatives were meeting yesterday when they recollected the attack on the Command and Staff College — the elite military facility — in Jaji on Sunday, the attack on the police office in Abuja on Monday as well as Tuesday’s bombardment of Auchi, Edo State.

They declared that the National Assembly is not safe of terror attack.

They urged the Executive to increase the security agencies’ intelligence gathering strength and supply sophisticated arms to personnel to enable them confront criminals.

Discussing a motion of urgent national importance brought by Abubakar Momoh, the lawmakers believed that the insecurity had reached a level where no facility is safe.

Momoh, leading the debate, said the Tuesday robbery in Auchi, Edo State, which claimed the lives of security men and civilians, indicated that insecurity has reached unmanageable proportions.

Another member, Rapheal Nnanna, observed that the invasion of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) headquarters in Abuja indicated that security personnel lacked the capacity to solve the problem.

According to him, the SARS invasion was less than 24 hours after the bombing of a Church at Command and Staff College, Jaji, by gunmen, in which 17 people were reported killed and many others injured.

“The state of insecurity in the country has reached an embarrassing level. What happened in Jaji and SARS headquarters is embarrassing to the leadership and people of this nation,” he said.

Nnanna said if the gunmen could operate at the premises of security agents and stroll leisurely away, they could also invade the National Assembly. He warned: “I see these people coming to the National Assembly, very soon.”

Samson Osagie(Edo, ACN) said the Federal Government must come up with a realistic strategy to checkmate bandits. He said there were far-reaching implications of allowing the present trend of insecurity to go on.

His words: “We can’t afford to fold our hands and watch these people kill and maim people the way they are doing.”

Jerry Alagbaso urged security agents to increase their efforts at gathering intelligence. He called for immediate supply of sophiscated arms to security personnel to enable them confront criminals.

“The government must improve on the sophiscation of arms that our security agents use; that is the only way they can overcome the current challenge. Our security must improve on intelligence gathering,” he said.

Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, who presided, however, did not recap the debate.

Tempers flayed at the Women Development Centre in Awka, Anambra state yesterday, when the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor challenged southern governors to confront their colleagues in the North to stop the killings by the Islamist sect, Boko-Haram.

Anambra State Governor Peter Obi challenged the church and clergy to block all the government houses to stop corruption, the way it happened in Philippines some years back during the tenure of President Ferdinand Marcos.

They spoke during the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of CAN. Oritsejafor decked in milk-coloured Safari dress, urged the governors of the 17 southern states to hold periodic meetings where issues affecting their people would be tackled because of what he described as Boko Haram’s barbaric activity.

Oritsejafor said he is not comfortable with the “silence” of the southern governors whose people are being killed indiscriminately by Boko Haram. He said the southern governors should challenge their Northern counterparts on what they are doing to secure the lives of southerners living in their domain.

The bombings, killings and attacks in the North were targeted at Christians and at Muslims who disagree with their extremist ideology, according to the pastor.

He said it was all in its bid to exterminate Christianity and enthrone Sharia.

Pastor Oritsejafor said: “We commend the efforts of the security agencies. However, with the way the sect members are succeeding in their attacks on military and other security posts and installations, including churches in their environments as evidenced in the bombing of a church inside the Command and Staff College, Jaji, it is obvious that they have not done enough.

“I speak in this manner because as we are here, my heart goes to these brothers, sisters and children who have paid the supreme price in a state that is supposed to be secular.

“We cannot shy away from discussing it because the Boko Haram sect has become a presence that is always there, somewhere in the subconscious.

“Those of us who receive daily distress calls from relations of victims of the sect’s members and our men on ground know how it feels.

“Since July 26, 2009 when the sect members had their first clash with security agencies in Bauchi till today, Nigerians and, in particular Christians, have been subjected to all sorts of harm.

“Without the security measures you have put in place, there would have been killings in the South in reprisal for the bombings and killings of their brothers and sisters in the North.

“Why would your counterparts in the North not have such measures on ground to secure the lives of your people? We have reached the point where you should all speak out against this menace of Boko Haram.

“You should hold your colleagues who govern states where your people are being killed accountable.

“You should ask for explanation, why your people are being displaced from their business places and killed in both open and private. You should let them know that their silence in the face of all these happenings is unacceptable.

“The verdict of the International Criminal Court that the Boko Haram sect has committed crimes against humanity has again vindicated my stand that the American government and indeed the international community should, as a matter of urgency, designate Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organisation.

“We in CAN are strongly considering criminal charges against Boko Haram for crimes committed against Christians at the International Criminal Court because we cannot continue to fold our arms while the sect members continue with the killings of Christians in Northern Nigeria. That will be done soon,” Pastor Oritsejafor said.

For Anambra State Governor Mr. Peter Obi, it is time to say that enough is enough. He said governors would not continue to fold their arms and allow their people killed.

According to him, those to be blamed are political leaders because of their greed and quest for money, but the church according to Obi, must help in building a better society.

His words: “It is time for the church to take responsibility of correcting the political leaders. A country can not move forward in the face of too much greed, the level of greed; in the country is too high.

“The church should equally help the government to identify the role models in the society; we need not to celebrate fraudsters in the society.

“CAN should launch a fund to help our people and churches in the North who are suffering persecution; we need to go with our brothers and sisters in the North; we must hang together with them or one day, they will hang us.”

“We will meet our counterparts in the North for a discussion on the issue of Boko Haram. Though we have been discussing it before now, we can not allow our people to be slaughtered on a daily basis in the North. It is time for people to speak against what is wrong and evil in the society,” Obi said.

From: The Nation

  1. SIRAJ MUHAMMAD FUNTUA Reply

    What goes around, comes around. Nigerian Politicians deliberately and systematically refuse to make our political environment thrives. Now the society is troubled by some people that were political errand boys of some politicians. They are scared because they do not want to die. But innocent citizens are dying and/or suffering from the same group of people they are scared of. If you are afraid to die , then organise the polity and ensure that the system works for all Nigerians, and not just for people in the political class. The day is still bright and not yet dark. Fear your creator, GOD almighty and do some thing reasonable for Nigeria and Nigerians.

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