As outrage over growing insecurity in Nigeria spreads, some senators were compelled to issue a fiery ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the prevalent security challenges within six weeks or risk impeachment.
The lawmakers had emerged from a closed-door session with a unanimous decision to discuss the festering security situation at plenary before embarking on their routine recess.
But senators elected under the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, appeared to backtrack after a point-of-order raised by the Minority Leader of the Senate, Philip Aduda, asking the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to discuss the security situation and the impeachment of Buhari was declined by Lawan on the excuse that the point of order raised fell flat on its face.
Upon Lawan’s decline, Aduda and all opposition senators staged a walkout and gave a presser to drive home their demand for an urgent step-up of security efforts to quickly resolve the lingering challenges.
Coming after bandits breached security formations around Abuja for the second time in one month, the senators’ position passes as one of the most significant responses to the horror wreaked on ordinary Nigerians by the wave of terror attacks around Abuja.
However, their response was long in coming, and does not also rule out the element of a self-indictment. As a representative arm of government, the National Assembly owes Nigerians the moral obligation of ensuring their well-being, security, and protection of public interest, irrespective of political affiliations.
But despite the agonising security, economic, social, and health challenges suffered by Nigerians in the seven years of the current administration, the legislators have failed to strongly uphold their constitutional obligation of providing checks and balances to the executive to ensure that the appropriate thing is done.
Rather, they have played second fiddle on national issues, almost functioning as an appendage of the executive without any real pressure on the nation’s leadership to isolate and eliminate the existential threats on Nigeria from non-state actors such as Boko Haram, ISWAP, IPOB and criminals under any nomenclature.
For ordinary Nigerians, the senators hid their heads in the sand while the country was harassed on all sides. Despite the failures observed in this administration, its intolerance for dissent may have cowed the legislature into a chamber of yes-men where the atmosphere could not tolerate the word “impeachment.”
However, the sheer display of courage by the senators to invoke their constitutional right to propose impeaching the president is a breakaway from the norm and speaks to the extent that the wave of insecurity in the land should not breed blind loyalty.
It is common knowledge that authorities in the country have not demonstrated enough political will to deal decisively with gun-wielding criminals who raid and pillage villages, kill innocent people and create fear. That explains why the average Nigerian has resigned to fate and only wishes away the menace of terrorism.
Despite the hard-work of the nation’s military in fending off some of these attacks by terrorists, the widespread nature of the situation has made their efforts less visible. It has never been so horrifying under any administration. Residents of Abuja are still horrified at the thought of terrorists breaching the federal capital territory and engaging soldiers in a fierce battle, causing panic.
It is regrettable that a country beset by an avalanche of woes, and precariously hanging on a shred of hope, sadly adopts a half-hearted approach to its national security while terrorists wreak havoc on its population. We therefore call on all men of good conscience from all sides of the political divide, to rally round the nation’s security agencies to take decisive action in halting the daily slide of the country towards total anarchy and social disorder.