The 10th Senate, on Wednesday voiced deep concerns over the escalating insecurity issues in the nation, particularly highlighting the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as being under considerable threat.
Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, underscored the severity of the situation by pointing out the recent attacks in areas such as Kubwa and Bwari, indicating a significant infiltration by hostile elements.
The expression of worry came ahead of an adjournment of a crucial briefing session with the heads of security agencies, which was slated to address the increasing spate of insecurity across Nigeria.
The session, however, has been postponed to next week due to the notable absences of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, and the Chief of Defence Staff, Christopher Musa.
This development followed the Senate’s action last week to summon security chiefs for a detailed briefing on their strategies and efforts to combat the alarming rise in killings and kidnappings, incidents that have not spared even the country’s capital.
The scheduled meeting for Wednesday was shifted to February 13, acknowledging the attendance of key security figures, including Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff; Emmanuel Ogalla, Chief of Naval Staff; Hassan Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff; Kayode Egbetokun, Inspector-General of Police (IGP); and Yusuf Bichi, Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Akpabio clarified that the decision to postpone the interactive session was made due to the absence of several critical figures whose insights are essential for a comprehensive review of Nigeria’s security posture.
The list of those whose presence was missed includes the Chief of Defence Staff, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ahmed Rufai, and the ministers for defence and police affairs.
Speaking before adjourning the security briefing, the Senate President said, “The situation is worrisome in Agatu, in Taraba, Oyo, Plateau, Mangu, Bokkos, Barkin Ladi. We also heard about the infiltration (of bandits) into the federal capital territory (FCT) in places like Kubwa and Bwari.
“We have heard reports that they have cells where they are congregating. We’ve also heard the efforts of the security chiefs and the security agencies but reports are becoming worrisome and we decided to invite you to brief us on the efforts to tackle this menace.
“While we welcome you, we are not passing the buck, we are not blaming you. But you are not complete.
“We want you to know that we represent the Nigerian people and we will only do their will. The Senate is of the view that the FCT is under threat.
“We received apologies from NSA that he is in a bilateral meeting with security chiefs from the UK. We believe that the team is still not complete.
“But my opinion is that we would like to have with you, the chief of Defence Staff, NSA, Minister of Defence, Minister of State for Defence, we will also want the minister of Police affairs, and the Minister of State for Police Affairs in addition.
“We strongly believe that the Director General of NIA should be in attendance, and the Minister of Finance should also be in attendance.”
Those expected at Tuesday’s meeting are the Chief of Defense Staff; National Security Adviser; Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff; the Chief of the Air Staff, the Inspector General of Police; the Director General of DSS; NIA DG; Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru; Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle; Minister of Police Affairs, Ibrahim Geidam; and Minister of State for Police Affairs, Imaan Suleiman Ibrahim.
Also, the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, and the Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, are expected to be in attendance.
Akpabio, thereafter, directed the senate clerk to inform those invited to be present next week.