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Senate leadership may meet Buhari this week over Insecurity in Nigeria, Sources

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The meeting, according to a top source in the upper chamber, is at the instance of the senators that the military chiefs should be sacked.

In light of the growing disquiet over the continued stay of the service chiefs amid the worsening insecurity in the country, there are strong indications that the leadership of the Senate may meet with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, (retd.), again this week.

This is coming at a time when the 36 governors, under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, resolved to meet the President as soon as possible to address security challenges across the country, and a time the House of Reps summoned the President to appear before it over the same issue.

While many Nigerians, including security professionals, retired military officers and well-meaning individuals have repeatedly called on the President to sack the service chiefs, the Senate on Tuesday passed a resolution asking Buhari to sack the military chiefs over their inability to address the rising insurgency in the country.

After futile efforts to get the President to sack the service chiefs via their resolutions and recurring visits of the National Assembly leadership to the Presidential Villa, the upper chamber had suggested that if the President was not willing to relieve the military chiefs of their appointments, he could constitute them into a presidential advisory committee on security.

The Senate had also advised the service chiefs to resign voluntary if the President refused to sack them, in the overall best interest of the country.

At the House of Representatives, the members on Tuesday passed a resolution summoning the President to appear before them to explain the gruesome killing of 43 rice farmers in Zabarmari Village in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents a week ago. The terrorists were said to have beheaded the farmers, an incident that attracted global condemnation and anger.

Meanwhile, investigations by our correspondent on Friday in Abuja, revealed that the leadership of the red chamber may have perfected arrangements to discuss the matter with Buhari before Tuesday when it was expected to brief other members at plenary.

It was learnt that some principal officers had suggested that the presiding officers should work on a joint sitting with the House of Representatives who are expecting the President in their chamber on Tuesday, December 10, over the same issue.

A principal officer of the Senate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told our correspondent on Friday that the idea of a joint sitting would not the best option because it would end up as a mere briefing from the President.

The source said, “Joining members of the House for a joint sitting for the briefing from the president may not serve the desired purpose because the president would only address the lawmakers and leave.

“There would definitely be no opportunity to ask questions. The president may even decide to spring surprises by offering to address the representatives through a virtual arrangement. We believe that the Senate leadership would achieve a better result by holding a meeting with the President at the Villa.”

The Senate Spokesperson, Dr Ajibola Basiru, when contacted on the issue, said the leadership of the senate had taken the necessary steps on the resolutions but he did not give further details.

He said, “The leadership would have done the necessary things immediately the resolution was passed.”

Tuesday’s decision by the Senate to pass a vote of no confidence in the service chiefs was the third time the red chamber would pass a similar resolution this year. The action followed a motion by a former governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima, on the recent killing of the rice farmers.

The Senate had after debating the motion concluded that Buhari should replace the security chiefs. While asking the President to restructure and remodel the nation’s security architecture, they also demanded a probe into the allegations of corruption levelled against some top hierarchy of the military.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who presided over the session, asked Buhari, to take the resolution of the red chamber, seriously.

He added, “We should not be despair that nothing has happened to our earlier resolutions. It is now important that the executive should implement the latest resolution because they are not frivolous. Enough of excuses, those who have nothing to offer in terms of securing the country should be showed the way out. The Security of Nigerians should take the centre stage.

The NGF had in a communiqué by its chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, after its 22nd meeting in Abuja on Friday said they would soon meet the President, particularly over the killing in Borno.

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