Worried by the rising state of insecurity in the country, the House of Representatives on Wednesday ask President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on the nation’s security.
The House also called for the investigation of low morale of military personnel serving in the North East as well as the establishment of special camps by the Army and withdrawal of Soldiers from checkpoints to the special camps.
Unanimously adopting a motion of urgent public importance on the recent attack on travellers at Auno village along that Damaturu/Maiduguri road by Boko Haram insurgents, the House asked the military to henceforth stop the practice of keeping commuters over night at a particular period and allow them proceed on their journey after 6.00pm.
Sponsor of the motion and Chief Whip of the House, Rep. Mohammed Tahir Mongunu had drawn the attention of the House to the killing of about persons by the insurgents at a military check point where they were kept by the military who closed the road and refused them from entering Maiduguri once it is pass 6.00pm.
He said after closing the road and disallowing the travellers from continuing with their journey, the military personnel abandoned them there to their faith and were subsequently attacked with some of them, including an infant killed and others were kidnapped.
Cosponsor of the motion, Rep. Ahmed Jaha disclosed that among the vehicles that were trapped at the check point was a tanker belonging to the military and conveying petroleum product to Maiduguri, wondering how the military could also detain its own truck and leave it at the mercies of the insurgents.
He alleged that the check point was closed the Army 15 minutes before the scheduled time, leaving the travellers stranded, while the soldiers on duty went away to return the following day.
While insisting that the attack on the travellers was avoidable and preventable, he blamed the failure of intelligence gathering for the attack adding that prior to the attack, there were information making the round about the movement for the insurgents from one village to the other.
He said it was painful for leaders to stay in their comfort zone while their people are slaughtered, saying “this issue is of nation importance. It is the north east today. Nobody know where it will affect next.
Rep. Jaha wondered why the military should introduce super camps in the area and closing check points while withdrawing soldiers to those special camps to wait for attacks by the insurgents.
Minority Leader of the House, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu said it was inhuman for the military to close the road and abandon their duty post without security for travelers and emphasised the earlier resolution of the House calling on the service chiefs to resign or be fired.
He drew the attention of the House to a trending video on their social media of soldiers complaining of low morale, adding that the lawmakers kept talking about the same issue of insecurity on a daily basis without commensurate action.
Elumelu said it was time for action on the issue of security in the country, saying ” our brothers and sisters are being slaughtered daily in the north east. My worry is that one day, we will be chased out of this chamber. It is high time the right thing is done. Nigerians voted for President Buhari because he promised to protect them. I still stand by the House resolution that the service chiefs should go because they have outlived their usefulness.”
The House resolve among other things to direct the Military Authority to henceforth stop keeping commuters overnight at a particular period on the Damaturu-Maiduguri Road and to allow them proceed on their journeys even after 6:00pm
They also asked the House Committees on Army; National Security and Intelligence to investigate the remote causes of the attack, while the Committee on Army should investigate the setting up of super camps and withdrawal of military from checkpoints.