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Insecurity May Lead To Ethno-Religious War — Senate

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SenateThe upper chamber of the Na­tional Assembly has resched­uled an earlier planned debate to urgently address the growing rate of insecurity which it believes might lead to tribal and religious war in the country.

The Senate also said clash­es among ethnic groups across Nigeria might lead to famine and myriad of other issues.

In the motion, sponsored by Senate Deputy Majority Leader, Robert Ajayi Borro­fice, the Senate expressed fears that the nation was en­tering a phase in its trajecto­ry characterised by unabated terrorism, insurgency, bandit­ry and kidnappings.

Debate on the motion was, however, stood down in hon­our of a member of the House of Representatives, Chinedu Prestige, who died in a hospi­tal in Germany.

In the motion, as contained in the Order Paper of the Senate, the upper chamber frowned at the practice of ejecting any Nigerian from any part of the country.

According to the motion, “Section 43 of the 1999 consti­tution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is sacrosanct, as every citizen of Nigeria has the right to live and acquire property in any part of the country.”

In the scheduled motion, the Senate expressed fears that “if the present spate of insecurity across the nation is not curtailed, it will lead to food insecurity and famine as many farmers can no longer access their farmlands”.

Going forward, the motion urged President Muhamma­du Buhari to direct the Na­tional Security Adviser and the newly nominated ser­vice chiefs and the Inspector General of Police to devise a proposal to re-jig the nation’s security architecture and disposition of forces for more effective counter measures against the current security challenges, particularly in rural areas.

It also urged state gover­nors to re-invigorate rural governance and convene a state-wide inter-communal conclave and dialogues to pro­mote local conflict resolution and inter-ethnic harmony.

According to the motion, the Federal Government should immediately embark on an operation to checkmate the proliferation of firearms and enforce the laws against illegal possession of firearms by arresting, disarming, and punishing anyone in illegal possession of arms.

It equally asked the state governors to implement the National Livestock Transfor­mation Plan which is a mod­ern scheme designed to elim­inate transhumance in order to prevent farmer-herder conflicts and activate a high­ly productive livestock sector in Nigeria.

“The security agencies must actively deploy drones and helicopters to monitor forests and ungoverned areas in Nigeria, to identify illegal camps of armed bandits,” the motion said.

It also made the case that the Federal Government should adequately equip the Nigeria Immigration Ser­vice (NIS) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to police and monitor Nigeria’s borders using technology to check illegal immigrants and checkmate smuggling of fire­arms and light weapons.

“And the Federal Govern­ment must resuscitate and inaugurate the National Task Force (Commission) to com­bat the proliferation of Light Weapons, Small Arms and Ammunition,” it added.

Earlier, in his remarks, the President of the Senate, Ah­mad Lawan, expressed con­cern over the emergence of inter-ethnic and inter- tribal conflicts in some parts of the country.

He said: “There is no doubt that the issue of insecurity re­mains a major concern to all of us. Indeed, every Nigerian is concerned with the perva­sive security challenges our country faces.

“Insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and militancy remain serious threats to a secured and safe Nigeria. We will continue to work with the executive arm of government to mitigate and end these chal­lenges.

“Distinguished colleagues, the very recent emergence of inter-ethnic and inter-tribal conflicts in some parts of our country is worrisome. The Senate calls for calm. The situ­ation also calls for leadership at all levels of government.

“Leaders must unite to fight and defeat criminality in the country. Leaders must also unite to fight any divisive and centrifugal sentiments and tendencies.

“Political leaders are prob­lem solvers. As parliamen­tarians, we should search for possible legislation to address the issues that tend to create tensions amongst our people.
“We are going to consult and partner with all arms and tiers of governments in our quest to find lasting solutions to these ugly developments.”

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