Oscar Chukwugekwu, Abuja
The Senate on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently find a lasting solution to the activities of the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, in Nigeria.
The Senate also condemned in strong terms the continued assault of the insurgents on Nigerians, especially in the North-East zone.
As a result, the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, would lead a delegation of senators to visit Borno State, internally displayed persons (IDPs) camps and Boko Haram affected places.
These were sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator George Thompson and 35 other senators entitled the: Establishment of Presidential Intervention Committee on the Rehabilitation of North-East zone.
Sekibo, who particularly expressed worry in the Federal Government’s inability to rehabilitate and rebuild infrastructure of areas that have been taken back from the insurgents, observed that it is a strong sign of disintegration.
“Since the inception of the insurgents’ assaults in the region, several government’s institutions such as educational and health, as well as the police, customs, immigration and military barracks have been completely destroyed with no offices and facilities for use by the institutions (that were) affected.
“Thousands of personal buildings and properties, social amenities and infrastructures, such as electricity and telephone services have been destroyed and, therefore, not in service in many parts (of) the zones. The livelihood of many indigenes of the area have been disrupted such that majority of the people are either in IDP (internally displayed persons) camps, or are helplessly roaming the streets without any hope for their future.
“As a war torn area, these affected people have no one to go and ask for alms or support of any kind. Such a situation, where people are kept without hope for a future would encourage them to give up themselves as recruits of the Boko Haram organisation, as there seems the possibility of them having food for sustenance from the sect or engage in other sinister activities that could inadvertently affect the nation negatively.
“(The Federal) Government’s inability to rehabilitate and rebuild infrastructure of areas that have been taken back from the insurgents is a strong sign of disintegration. (The Senate) knows that security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government, as provided in Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“(The Senate) further knows that the National Assembly may make laws for the federation or any part thereof with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order and providing, maintaining and securing of such supplies and services as may be designated by the National Assembly as essential supplies and services, vide Section 11(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended,” Sekibo said.
The motion further prayed Buhari to establish a presidential intervention committee on the rehabilitation of the North-East.
Following the motion, the Senate directed its Committee on Special Duties to monitor the well-being of all IDPs in the country, as well as the implementation of the Presidential Intervention Committee; and commend the security men that have died, as well as those fighting Boko Haram.
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