â€¢ Senators summon security chiefs, lament arms proliferation
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
After ignoring the summons of the National Assembly, the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, is expected to appear before the Senate Wednesday to brief the lawmakers on efforts being made by the police to quell the rising insecurity in different parts of the country.
This is as the Senate summoned the security chiefs over the proliferation of arms across the country, which it said had contributed to heightened insecurity in Nigeria.
Idris would also field questions on the maltreatment meted out to Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi APC) by the police, in the course of his arrest, hospitalisation and arraignment before the Federal High Court Abuja and the Magistrateâ€™s Court in Lokoja, Kogi State.
The police boss had shunned the summons of the upper legislative chamber on the same subject matter twice in the last two weeks.
However, following Mondayâ€™s meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, where Idrisâ€™ attitude to the legislature was discussed, the police IG is expected to honour the summons Wednesday.
Saraki, in his remarks on rising insecurity in the country at plenary Tuesday, also indicated that Idris might show up Wednesday.
Reacting to the reports of the twin bombings in Mubi (Adamawa State) and kidnappings in Kaura Namoda (Zamfara State), Saraki lamented that Nigeria continues to experience all forms of insecurity on a daily basis.
â€œIt is unfortunate, the last time we invited the IG, and he did not show up. We have given him this Wednesday again to come,â€ he said, adding that the parliament would play its role in ensuring that the country is secure.
He also described the recent bombing of the home of the President General of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, as unfortunate and directed the Senate Committee on Police to find out the status of the investigation.
Speaking earlier, Senator Tijjani Kaura (Zamfara APC) had called for further deployment of security forces to Zamfara State, following rising cases of kidnappings by bandits.
Raising a point of order, Kaura said at least eight persons had been kidnapped in Kaura Namoda town in the last 10 days.
â€œVictims of these kidnappings are now selling their homes, farm produce and farmlands to secure the release of their people,â€ he said.
Similarly, Binta Masi Garba (Adamawa APC) sought the leave of the Senate to present a motion on the recent devastating suicide bombings in Mubi, Adamawa State, where at least 27 persons were reported to have been killed.
Twin bomb blasts hit a mosque and a market in Mubi on May 1, in attacks suspected to have been carried out by Boko Haram terrorists.
Also at plenary Tuesday, the Senate resolved to summon the security chiefs including the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hammed Ali (rtd), over the proliferation of weapons in the country.
This followed a motion sponsored by Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi (Kaduna APC) who said the easy acquisition of firearms had contributed to the colossal loss of lives and wanton destruction of property of Nigerian citizens.
He blamed the development on negligence by the departments of government entrusted with the responsibility of controlling how individuals and corporate entities have access to and maintain firearms in Nigeria.
Hunkuyi noted that the ease with which hoodlums access and acquire firearms was devastating for Nigeria.
â€œThe combined effects of Sections 3 and 4 of the Firearms Act respectively, restrict the possession of firearms among persons. Section 3 of the Firearms Act specifically states that no person should possess the category of firearms seen with these heartless persons unless that person is granted a licence by the president.
â€œSection 4 of the Act gives the Inspector-General of Police the power to issue licences for people to own less lethal firearms.
â€œBut one does not need to ask whether all the firearm-bearing elements, ranging from kidnappers, armed robbers, armed herdsmen, cattle rustlers, cultists, et al, got their licences from the appropriate quarters, because the answer is an emphatic no,â€ Hunkuyi said.