On Thursday, the Senate summoned the service chiefs due to the continuing lack of security in the country.
At Thursday’s plenary session, the Red Chamber said it would invite the service chiefs to a closed meeting.
This came as lawmakers demanded a national security policy document that lays out a framework for enhanced and streamlined synergy and coordination among the various security agencies in the country.
The Senate resolutions were adopted at the request of Senator Abdulaziz Yar’Adua.
According to Yar’Adua, the contemporary security landscape in Nigeria poses unprecedented challenges that exceed the protective capabilities of any security agency.
He said: “Nigeria is facing multiple simultaneous security crises. These include Boko Haram in the northeast; activities of bandits and kidnappers in the northwest; bandit activity in the southeast and south; and other forms of crime such as armed robberies, herders-farmers clashes and cross-border crimes.
“The primary mandate of security agencies should be to ensure the security of Nigeria, insecurity in Nigeria can only be addressed when all security agencies and government offices that play a key role in national security work in synergy under a centralized command structure to ensure that the country is very safe. This joint effort strengthens the interdependence and interconnectedness of Nigeria’s security agencies.”
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Thursday refused to accept presentations from representatives of the service chiefs who were scheduled to appear in the house to launch a series of short policy statements aimed at redefining the concept of governance in the country.
Hit informs that the series entitled “Sectoral Debate” is part of the Chamber’s initiatives aimed at improving constitutional oversight of the executive branch of the government, in line with the legislative program of the 10th Assembly announced on Monday.
The Chiefs of the Defense Staff, including the Chief of the Defense Staff, the Chief of the Army Staff, the Chief of the Naval Staff, the Chief of the Air Staff and the Inspector General of Police, were invited to speak on Thursday.
However, instead of appearing in person, the service chiefs sent their representatives, angering the legislators who arrived at the chambers in the early morning hours for the exercise.
Immediately after introducing himself, Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu drew the attention of Members to the fact that the Service Chiefs were invited to appear in person and not by proxy.
Kalu said: “The House has issued invitations to heads of security agencies not for the purpose of conducting investigations but for dialogue and resolution of security issues. Agencies have an obligation to send their number one officers because parliament is the government’s number one parliament.
“The gentlemen they sent have great profiles. They have served the nation in various ways and are competent to discuss with us, but the error based on the provisions of Articles 88 and 89 has not been corrected. You may ask why their number one officers did not appear before the House.
“It is the tradition of the House that invited leaders, whether from the public or private sector, must appear in person. I want to say that we should not create separate traditions for our Chamber.
“I therefore request that this sectoral engagement be suspended until such time as the leaders of the security agencies we have invited, who are our friends, who work for Nigeria and of whom we are proud, come and speak to us personally.”
In a speech after the plenary session, House spokesman and chairman of the Media and Public Affairs Committee, Akin Rotimi, said: “Members unanimously agreed that we cannot accept presentations from people who are not heads of security agencies at a time when we are looking for solutions to the security problems affecting all of us.”