…As Lawan tasks joint committee to investigate desertion of Army by soldiers 

BY VICTOR BUOR, ABUJA – The Senate on Tuesday through a unanimous resolution, called on the Service Chiefs to step aside over the deteriorating security situation in the country.

This Senate resolution was sequel to the consideration of a motion which drew the attention of members of the Upper chamber of the National Assembly to the rising number of casualties among the Nigerian Army and other Security Agencies.

The Senate demand for the resignation of the Service Chiefs was put forward in a proposed amendment to the resolutions of the Senate moved by Senator Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi (PDP – Osun East) and seconded by Betty Apiafi (PDP – Rivers West).

It further urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to as a matter of urgency, provide modern equipment to enhance the operational capabilities of the armed forces.

Sponsor of the original motion, Senator Ali Ndume (APC – Borno South), while coming under Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, noted with concern the various reports of casualties among the Nigerian Army and other security agencies.

Sen Mohammed Ali Ndume

Ndume noted that 24 soldiers were recently ambushed and killed along Damboa-Maiduguri road in Borno State, with 19 others wounded while nine were declared missing in action.

In the motion, Ndume said; “The Senate is disturbed that in Katsina again about 20 soldiers were also ambushed and killed while several others were wounded.

“The Senate appreciates the sacrifices of our armed forces in the fight against insurgency, banditry and protection of the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

“The Senate is concerned that if the trend continues, it will have serious implication on the fight against insurgency and banditry in the country,” Ndume added.

In his contribution, Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC – Kebbi North), called on security agencies to change their tactics and strategy of deployment in the fight against insecurity in the country.

Accordingly, the Senate after observing a minute silence for the fallen soldiers, mandated its Joint Committees on Army; Air Force; Navy; National Security and Nigeria Police to receive briefing on the state of affairs of the services in this regard.

President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, condoled the families of the slained soldiers and charged the Senate Joint Committees to also investigate alleged desertion of the army by soldiers at the war front.

Lawan said; “The spirit of this motion is that our armed forces are trying very hard, but just like the President said, their good is not good enough.

“We need to continue to encourage and provide for them. They lay their lives on our behalf and of course, it is very sad that some of them are alleged to have deserted the war front.

“We need to get to the bottom of this. Our joint committee should be able to find out the facts about this allegation of over 200 deserting the war front.”

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