The Senate yesterday declared that the nation’s seat of power, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, is under threat while expressing worry over the country’s acute insecurity.
The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, said the FCT has been infiltrated in places like Kubwa, Bwari and other areas.
He was speaking before the Senate adjourned its briefing with heads of security agencies to next week over the absence of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu and Chief of Defence Staff, Christopher Musa.
The Red Chamber had last week summoned the security chiefs to brief it on the rising insecurity in Nigeria and efforts to address the spike in killings and kidnappings in many parts of the country, including the FCT.
The security meeting was postponed to February 13 after the Senate had admitted those present into the chamber.
Those in attendance were Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff; Emmanuel Ogalla, Chief of Naval Staff; Hassan Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff; Kayode Egbetokun, Inspector-General of Police (IGP), and Yusuf Bichi, Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Akpabio said the interactive session with heads of security agencies was shifted because some of those invited did not show up.
He said the chief of defence staff, director general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai and defence and police affairs ministers needed to be present in order to have a holistic review of the situation.
Speaking before adjourning the security briefing, the Senate president said “The situation is worrisome in Agatu, in Taraba, Oyo, Plateau, Mangu, Bokkos, Barkin Ladi. We also heard about the infiltration (of bandits) into the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in places like Kubwa and Bwari, Daily Trust reports.
“We have heard reports that they have cells where they are congregating.
“We have also heard the efforts of the security chiefs and the security agencies but reports are becoming worrisome and we decided to invite you to brief us on the efforts to tackle this menace.
“While we welcome you, we are not passing the buck, we are not blaming you. But you are not complete.
“We want you to know that we represent the Nigerian people and we will only do their will. The Senate is of the view that the FCT is under threat,” he said.
Akpabio, thereafter, directed the clerk of the Senate to inform those invited to be present next week.
Reps invite Wike, others
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has resolved to also invite the Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, the National Security Adviser and heads of all security agencies for an emergency security briefing and strategy against the rising insecurity in the nation’s capital.
It also mandated the minister to install security cameras around the FCT and its environs as well as other security gadgets and equip security personnel with modern security equipment to combat the rising and frightening insecurity within the territory and its environs, including the use of drones.
3 soldiers, 2 vigilantes killed in Nasarawa
Just as the National Assembly worked to find a solution to insecurity, a suspected militia group in Umaisha District, Toto LGA of Nasarawa State killed three soldiers and two vigilantes.
Daily Trust reported that on February 1, 2024, some yet-to-be-identified gunmen murdered three persons and destroyed property worth millions of naira in an attack on the village.
Our correspondent learnt that gunmen also launched an attack recently on Okudu village and killed several people.
Some army personnel had been deployed in Katakpa and Okudu villages to maintain law and order following the persistent communal crisis in the area.
The Chairman of Toto LGA, Mr Abdullahi Aliyu-Tashas, who confirmed the soldiers’ killing to our correspondent on Wednesday, said some hoodlums ambushed the military men who were on patrol.
Meanwhile, the Bassa Cultural Development Union (BCDU), has called on Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State to as a matter of urgency fish out those behind the attack on Katakpa village.
NSA seeks UK help
In the meantime, the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, has sought the support of the United Kingdom with a view to addressing some security challenges currently facing Nigeria, including kidnapping, terrorism, banditry and oil theft.
Ribadu, who convened the second edition of the UK-Nigeria Security Defence Partnership Dialogue in Abuja on Wednesday, explained that the dialogue was in a decisive move to address the security challenges facing Nigeria and bolster regional and international security.
On his part, the UK National Security Adviser, Tim Barrow, said his country operates in a relationship of mutual respect and supportiveness and shares a determination to make its contributions separately and together to a better world and to peace, security, stability and prosperity for all.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections, Mr Peter Obi, has said the government must evolve more serious and innovative strategies for dealing with this climate of insecurity.
He said this on Wednesday on his X handle.