National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday, declared that Nigeria was under siege following incessant attacks in parts of the country by terrorist groups. He spoke as the Senate tasked the Service Chiefs and Heads of Security Agencies to immediately find solution to the security challenges.
The PDP chairman spoke on the state of the nation at his country home in Jada Local Government of Adamawa State shortly after visiting Ganye Local Government Area and in Abuja.
Tukur was in Adamawa to condole with the people of Ganye over the recent terrorist attack which left 25 persons dead and scores of others wounded. He warned that the nation might become ungovernable unless urgent steps were taken to arrest the situation.
Tukur, who assessed the level of damage done to the town, described the incident as not only unfortunate but also condemnable.
According to Tukur, the level of the attack on Ganye showed that evil was contesting against good in the country, as the attackers unleashed mayhem on the people irrespective of their religion or economic status.
“This is evil opposing good; here are people who attack Mosques, Churches, markets, banks, motor parks, police stations without considering who is there. Surely, our nation is under siege. It is not the question of PDP, ACN, CPC or any political party or religion. The truth is that Nigeria is under siege, therefore all of us must come together and face this challenge.
“The attackers have not spared any part of the country especially the northern states while other parts of the country are facing another form of evil associated with kidnapping”, he said.
He lamented that no community in Nigeria was spared of any form of insecurity challenge or the other.
Tukur also acknowledged that PDP should take responsibility for the insecurity because it was the ruling party in the country, but he was quick to add that the situation needed collaborative effort by everyone to tackle.
Tukur said that if there was no Nigeria, there would be no political parties, the media or any other organization, saying it was because of this that people must stand up together and confront the evil of insecurity.
He also spoke about security challenges at his Wuse 2 private residence in Abuja and urged all opposition parties, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Organised Labour, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs and others to come together and fight what he described as evil.
His word: “Today there is fear everywhere, churches are being burnt, Mosques are being attacked, United Nations building bombed, motor parks are being bombed, people cannot go to motor parks again to travel for fear of being attacked; security installations such as police stations, prisons are being burnt down and inmates released at will, nobody knows the next target of attack.
“It is not about the PDP or President Goodluck Jonathan; this is a matter that should be of concern to everybody irrespective of political, ethnic or religious affiliations, the opposition, the labour movement, religious leaders, traditional rulers. We all have to come together to fight the evil that is now manifesting everywhere in our land; those perpetuating this evil are within us in the society, it is not a matter of Mr President or the PDP-led Federal Government alone.”
Find solution to the security challenges— Senate
Meanwhile, worried by the continued security challenge in the country, the Senate yesterday asked the Service Chiefs to, as a matter of urgency, find a lasting solution to it within the shortest possible time.
Vanguard gathered that the Senate told the Service chiefs at the closed-door meeting, which lasted for six hours that if they failed to find solution to the problem with the level it was going, the unity of the country would be threatened and there might be no Nigeria.
The Senate also asked the Service Chiefs to cast their minds back to the days of the Civil war and imagine what would happen if the country was again pushed into such war.
A source also told Vanguard that Senators who spoke at the meeting with security heads and service chiefs also expressed worry over the activities of members of the Boko Haram, which have led to the killing of many and destruction of property worth millions and promised to ensure that a solution to it was found.
Following the meeting, the motion on late Professor Chinua Achebe by Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige, ACN, Anambra Central, was stepped down.
The security meeting was attended by President of the Senate, Senator David Mark and other Senators. At the meeting were Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Sa’ad Ola Ibrahim; Chief of Army Staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Barde.
Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar was, however, absent but he was represented by Deputy Inspector General, Administration, Mr. Suleiman Fakai.
Senate President Mark led other senators out at 4.31pm.
Speaking with Journalists after the meeting, Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP, Abia South said: “The intention was to be able to find out what the problems are and also to be able to work with the security agencies to find possible resolution to the very serious security problems we have.”
When asked further on the outcome of the meeting, which lasted hours, Senator Abaribe noted that the Senate was impressed with the outcome of the interaction, especially the commitment of the security agents to tackle the problem of terrorism.
He said: “We are satisfied with the level of interaction and the commitment of the security agencies to make Nigeria a far safer nation.
“We are also calling on all Nigerians to cooperate with them to help us resolve the issue. We promised that we will continue to have regular interactions with security agencies and this is one of those interactions.”
The Senate Spokesperson who declined most of the questions by Journalists on whether alternative security strategy was reached as recommended by the Senate recently and the issue of amnesty, stressed that it was not for the Senate to reach any resolution on security options or to discuss amnesty with security agencies.
“But we are satisfied with the level of interaction we had with the security agencies.”
He insisted that any other option was a policy decision that should be made by the Presidency, adding that the length of time spent in the meeting was informed by the issues discussed.