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HOUSE OF REP MEETING

Justify N3.25tn security budget, Reps tell NSA

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Tuesday, March 12th, 2024
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The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, called on the Office of the National Security Adviser to coordinate intelligence and security operations in the country, particularly in Kaduna State, following last week’s abduction of over 200 students in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state by suspected bandits.

The lawmakers also expressed worry that in spite of the N3.25tn security and defence spending approved by the National Assembly, the security situation in the country was far from the expectations of Nigerians.

This was just as the lawmakers in the Green Chamber called for the control of small and light weapons amid worsening insecurity in some parts of the country.

The House’s resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion on matters of urgent public importance titled, “Urgent need to tackle the abhorrent abduction of over 200 students in Kuriga community of Chikun and secure lives and property in Kaduna State.”

The motion was moved by the member representing Lere Federal Constituency, Kaduna State, Ahmed Munir.

The PUNCH had reported that on March 7, 2024, gunmen stormed the Local Education Authority Primary School and Government Secondary School in Kuriga Community, taking into captivity over 200 pupils and students.

Leading the debate, the lawmaker noted that just two months ago, a school principal, Abu Sufyan, was killed and his wife and baby abducted, adding that the wife and baby were later rescued in a successful joint security operation on February 3,  2024.

He said, “The House is aware that on Friday, March 8, 2024, gunmen attacked worshippers in a mosque at Angwar Makera, Kwasakwasa Community in the Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, with two persons declared dead.

“This worrisome trend of violence is seeping into other parts of the state affecting persons of all religious and ethnic backgrounds.”

He expressed concern that despite “The N3.25trn allocated to the defense and security sector on drones and other military equipment that could have tracked, located and rescued victims, there has been no respite as the bulk of the actions by security personnel are reactionary rather than proactive.”

Following the adoption of the motion, the House mandated the Office of the National Security Officer to “coordinate and galvanize all security and intelligence networks to develop and execute a proactive master plan to restore security with defined plans on coordinating with neighboring countries.

“The plan must include boots on ground land and aerial sweep of locations that include but not limited to Kuyambana forest in Zamfara, Kamuka forest in Kaduna, Falgore forest in Kano, Borgu and Zugurma forests in Niger State.”

The lawmakers also urged the Office of the NSA to “revisit and optimise fully the Acts passed for the National Counter-Terrorism Centre as well as the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, and ensure that they fully serve the purpose of their establishment.”

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