The Senate on Thursday called for the mainstreaming of the National Park Service into the national security architecture in line with the resolution of 12th National Council on Environment.
Senate resolution is sequel to a motion by Sen. Umar Suleiman APC Kwara) on the need to mainstream the National Parks Service into the Nigerian security architecture.
The motion was also co-sponsored by 10 other senators. Umar, while presenting his motion at the plenary said that national parks in Nigeria were becoming safe havens for criminal elements within the society, who often use the parks as hide out.
He said the criminal elements could come out to attack and return back there for safety. He said the routine patrol by security agencies do not cover the parks and the parks rangers are only trained to guide and protect the parks.
He said what was at the disposal of the park rangers were obsolete and low calibre firearms and ammunition such as double barrel short guns, pump action and dane guns. He expressed worry that the parks “are now homes to organised crimes with resultant killings of rangers and commuters by poachers and herdsmen’’.
Following supportive contributions from senators, the Senate further called for the special training in firearms and ballistic, surveillance and intelligence information gathering to park rangers.
It also called for the conclusion of the tripartite consultation comprising Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and interior on Presidential Intervention on the Parks. It also called for the involvement of other security agencies in park protection and surveillance.
Similarly, the Senate also at plenary called for the establishment of a military base at Auno, Bornu, following the killing of commuters by the insurgents.
This followed the presentation a motion under Order 42 and 52 by Sen. Kassim Shetima (APC Bornu) on the existential threat in the North East.
The Senate, having condemned the killing at Auno, also urged the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and NEMA to provide relief materials to the affected persons and intensify efforts to curb insurgency in the country.
The Senate also passed for second reading a bill for an act to repeal the Police Act Cap. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and enact the Nigeria Police Bill 2019.
The bill which was sponsored by Sen. Jika Dauda (APC Bauchi) was referred to the Police Affairs Committee and to report back in four weeks. Earlier at the plenary, five bills were considered for first reading.
The bills are Federal College of Education Omuo-Ekiti Establishment Bill, 2020, sponsored by Sen. Olujimi Biodun (PDP Ekiti), Federal College of Education Technical Michika Adamawa Establishment Bill, 2020, sponsored by Sen. Ishaku Elisa (PDP Adamawa).
Others are Institute of Information and Communication Technology Billiri, Gombe State Establishment Bill, 2020 by Sen. Amos Kilawangs, Prohibition of Discrimination between First degree and Higher National Diplomas Bill, 2020 by Sen. Akinyelure Ayo and Federal Medical Centre Kaura Namoda Establishment Bill, 2020 by Sen. Ya’u Sahabi.