Fear Of Bombs At National Assembly Grips Lawmakers

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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.
Source:
Sun

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