Senate Demands Probe into Auno Killings

  • Seeks to establish tenure for IG
  • Community policing bill passes second reading

Chuks Okocha and Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Senate thursday passed a motion seeking a probe into the killings in Auno, near Maiduguri, where suspected Boko Haram insurgents killed some stranded travellers, numbering about 30.

The demand was part of the conclusions reached after considering a motion by Senator Kashim Shettima, a former governor of Borno State.

Speaking on a point of order 42 and 52, Shettima lamented the killings in Auno town by the Boko Haram insurgents.

Shettima, in the motion, said it was unbelievable that the insurgents had a field day in their atrocious act without any help, and called for high-powered investigations to find what actually happened.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe supported the motion and wondered how many times the Senate would be observing a minute silence for the killing of Nigerians by the Boko Haram.

Supporting the debate, Senator Gabriel Suswam said from the inception of the Ninth Senate, what has preoccupied the Senate ” is the issue of security that has cropped up on a daily basis. It is high time we approached this differently and let us call a spade a spade.
“We must move beyond talking on the floor here of massive killings of our people. We talk about security, security, security. We cannot continue.

“In the past we have heard that Boko Haram has been exterminated and they come from the military that they have finished with Boko Haram.

“I think that beyond mere propaganda, let us address this issue by going to the source. It is not about intelligence, we don’t lack intelligence. These people come in trucks and people who come with trucks cannot be invisible. They come in trucks and they are well armed.

We should move beyond observing one minute silence.”

After several debates, the senators condemned the dastardly act perpetuated by the insurgents. They observed a minute silence for the victims of the Auno killings and urged the federal government to begin a rehabilitation of the affected communities.
The Senate also urged the military to establish a base in Auno to intensify efforts in the fight against insurgency in the North-east and instruct the Defence Headquarters to find what transpired in Auno.

The Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, who reiterated the position of the Senate on restructuring of the security architecture when the motion seeking to probe the Auno killings was passed, said it had become expedient to change the nation’s security system.
“I believe that we are all agreed that the security architecture as presently constituted and designed is simply not giving the outcome we want and we need.

“Going forward, we have to find a better structure and architecture for our security to provide the necessary service that we need.
“Time has come for us to ensure that governance is done like it’s business; you employ someone, give the person a target. He accepts on the basis of the fact that he can meet the target. If he doesn’t meet the target and there is no cogent explanation or reasons, why he fails, then he should go. When we hold people responsible, they are likely to perform better.”

Also yesterday, a bill seeking to establish the community policing passed a second reading in the Senate.
The bill seeks to amend the Police Act to pave the way for the establishment of community policing in the 774 local governments of the federation.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Jika Dauda Haliru from Bauchi Central, seeks to repeal the Police Act Cap.P19, Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004 and enact the Police Bill 2019 to provide the framework for the police service and ensure cooperation and partnership between police and communities to maintaining peace and combating crime-related matters.

Supporting the bill, Senator James Manager said the police must be made to be alive to their constitutional duties as contained in section 14 (B) 2 of the amended 1999 Constitution.

All the senators spoke in unison that the Police Act should be amended to support the fight against crime prevention .

The senators agreed that the tenure of the Inspector General of Police should be specified and the relationship between the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission be clearly stated.

The bill clearly defined the duties of community policing and how to address the welfare and discipline of police personnel.