The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ado Doguwa (APC, Kano), has called for firearms permits for Nigerians willing to defend themselves in the face of the failure of security agencies to protect lives and properties.
Doguwa made the call on Thursday during a debate on a motion of urgent importance moved by Shehu Balarabe (PDP, Kaduna) on killings in Kaduna State.
Terrorists have killed scores in Kaduna, and other northern states in addition to killings by armed groups in other parts of Nigeria in recent years.
On Monday, an Abuja-Kaduna train was attacked by terrorists resulting in the deaths of at least eight persons.
The incident occurred a few days after the security at Kaduna airport was breached.
“If the agencies of security have failed, then Nigerians should not be seen as failures,” Doguwa said, noting that the option would be for Nigerians to be allowed to defend themselves.
Speaking further, the House Leader said if the issue of insecurity could be addressed democratically, “Nigerians should be allowed to return to the jungle”.
Doguwa, who usually defends the executive on the floor of the House, said Nigerians could no longer run away from fight but must be given what it takes to defend themselves.
“With all sense of responsibility, I think Nigerians should at this moment be allowed to also take arms. Nigerians must be allowed to take up arms in defence of their innocent souls, defend their hard-earned properties because it is like a monumental failure.
“If the agencies of security have failed, then Nigerians should not be seen as failures. Let Nigerians organise themselves in the way of civil defence. Let Nigeria organise defence for their innocent souls because if the responsibility of the government cannot be carried out democratically, then we return to the jungle,” he said.
Govt that cannot protect lives should not last – APC lawmaker
Another principal officer of the House, Mohammed Monguno (APC, Borno), the Chief Whip, said any government that cannot protect lives and properties should not last longer than necessary.
“Any government that fails or neglects to secure the lives and properties of the citizens, that government is not supposed to last longer than absolutely necessary. Because that is the primacy of governance,” he said.
Terrorism as cash cow for military
Ahmadu Jaha (APC, Borno), who represents Damboa/Gwazo/Chibok federal constituency, an area ravaged by terrorists, accused the military of intentionally prolonging the fight against insurgents and bandits due to financial reasons.
Jaha argued that as long as the country continues to pump money into defence, the military will continue to see the fight against terrorists as “cash cow.”
“In 2021 we budgeted N460 billion for the Nigerian Army alone, only N29 billion was for capital expenditure, the remaining was for recurrent expenditure. In 2022, we budgeted N571 billion for the Nigerian Army alone, only N37 billion is capital expenditure, the remaining were recurrent expenditures.
“Mr Speaker, the truth of the matter is security in Nigeria has become a cash cow business. I am not willing to go without taking my own and he is not willing to go with taking his own and the other person is not willing to leave until he gets his own.
“It just like a medical doctor putting professionalism aside. You presented a patient, as a patient’s relative you say okay every month, I’ll give you N100 million until when the patient recovers or otherwise. The doctor will make sure that the patient does not die and will continue to maintain that he does not recover because he will keep collecting the money. It is a simple analysis every person can understand.
“Mr Speaker, it is a cash cow business, they don’t want it (insecurity) to finish. Because they will realize that everybody’s attention was diverted towards the North-east. Okay, let them release North-east to some extent and go to North-west after North-west they move to South-west. Before you realize what is happening, the whole country is gutted with security challenges.”
Jaha also accused a lawmaker of writing a commendation letter to one of the service chiefs, that he is doing good. Although Jaha did not disclose the name of the lawmaker, he, however, said “he will deal with the lawmaker and scandalise the lawmaker”.
At this point, the Presiding officer, Deputy Speaker Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), cautioned Jaha for using strong words on the floor of the House. Consequently, Jaha withdrew the statement.
Also contributing to the motion, Dahung Bagos (PDP, Plateau), asked for the suspension of allocation of money to the defence sector which he said gets the allocations “without anything to show for it.”
While the debate was going on, the deputy speaker called out the Chairman House Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Shaaban Sharada (APC, Kano), accusing him of failing to do his job.
Wase said the Committee on National Security and Intelligence is yet to submit a single report to the House, despite several referrals to the committee.
“I don’t know one report that has been turned in by the Committee on National Security and Intelligence, I don’t know,” he said.
Corroborating the alleged inefficiency of Sharada, the Chief Whip of the House, said his bill was the first to be considered by the 9th House, yet Sharada failed to deliver the report until the committee was discharged of that responsibility.
“With regard to the committee, I can also recall that the first bill that was passed for second reading is my bill, which is the bill on small arms and light weapons. That bill was referred to the national security committee, but up till now, there is no report up to the extent that had to go and appeal to Speaker, which he had to set up an ad hoc committee. That is the extent the committee has not performed,” he said.
Sharada is a first-time lawmaker without any prior experience in intelligence or security, but served as media aide to President Buhari. He was elected into the House in 2019.
Following the debate, the House resolved that the Inspector General of Police, Usman Akali, deploys personnel to the region.
In addition, the government was directed to establish IDP camps in Kaduna State.
After the motion was put to vote, Wase said the House should suspend all items on the order paper and adjourn plenary.
Credit: Premium Times