Lawan Calls for Timeline for Service Chiefs over Insecurity

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Ahmad Lawan

•Says president, others will address APC crisis soon

By Omololu Ogunmade

Senate President Ahmad Lawan yesterday expressed grave concern over the deteriorating security situation in the country, challenging the service chiefs to be alive to their responsibilities with a timeline given to them to end insecurity.

Lawan’s charge to the service chiefs came barely three days after President Muhammadu Buhari had warned the security chiefs that he would no longer condone the worsening security situation in the country.

Answering questions from journalists after a meeting with the president at the State House, Abuja, Lawan said the security situation might have worsened because security agencies did not have enough funds to procure equipment to confront criminals.

According to him, after funds have been released to the security agencies without improvement, they must then be sacked if they fail to resign.

He identified insecurity as the most urgent matter for the federal government to address, adding that the lives of Nigerians are precious and must not be treated with sentiments.

He said: “I think we must tell ourselves the truth, that the security situation in the country, especially in the Northern part of the country, requires that we give much more resources to the security agencies.

And those who are heading these agencies, especially the service chiefs, must sit up. In fact, we must have milestones and timelines on how we are going to deal with this. We can’t just go on without any time frame for dealing with these issues.

“If after we provide some support and someone is found short of expectations, he should be shown the way out if he refuses to go because the lives of Nigerians are so precious and therefore must be more important than any other considerations or sentiments. I believe that today, the most essential thing in government is to address the security challenges.”

Lawan explained that he had come to remind the president about what he last discussed with him that whatever it would require must be done to improve security in the country, saying the National Assembly is favourably disposed to approve budget to fight insecurity.

According to him, constitutional provisions are clear that the primary purpose of the government is the security and welfare of the people, adding that the only option the government has is to address security challenges.

“Section 14 sub-section 2b of the Constitution of the Federal Republic Nigeria is very categorical and crystal clear, that the purpose of government shall be to provide for security and welfare of the people. Therefore, we have no luxury of any option other than to address the security challenges more than any other thing,” he added.

Lawan also said he discussed the festering crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the president, saying he impressed it on him that the crisis must not be allowed to further degenerate.

He said he had a fruitful discussion with him on the crisis, adding that based on the trend of the discussion, certain steps would be taken to address the crisis in the next few days.

“So, I had the opportunity to discuss that with the president who is the leader of the party in Nigeria and by the grace of God in the next few days, we will see certain actions will be taken and we are praying that all our leaders in the party across the country will make every possible effort to get the party reconciled,” he said.

The Senate president stated that the party’s constitution must be consulted with a view to addressing the crisis, adding that if the party which controls the government is not stable, the country will not be stable.

“The situation should not, must not be allowed to degenerate further than it has. And I believe that we must go into the constitution of our party and see how we are to address this but we must not allow this to continue as it is today because the stability of APC is the stability of Nigeria.
“This is the party that is running the affairs of this country. So, I believe that we have to sort this out and that will make our work even better and easier when we have a stable party because the party is supposed to be part of the apparatus of running government.

“We are supposed to run or operate or implement or execute the manifesto of the party. And therefore, the party is so key, so central, so essential to ensuring that government, whether on the executive or legislative side, continues to face those issues in the manifesto and of course the manifesto will be to make Nigeria better,” he added.