President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday in Abuja met with Senate President Ahmad Lawan where they deliberated on nation’s security situation as well as the crisis in the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, APC.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting, Mr Lawan decried the present spate of insecurity in the country, suggested that the President would set targets and timelines for addressing specific security situations in the country.
He said: ”I think we must tell ourselves the truth, that the security situation in the country, especially in the northern part of the country, requires that we give much more resources to the security agencies.
”And those who are heading these agencies, especially the service chiefs, must sit up, in fact we must have milestones and timelines on how we are going to deal with this.
”We cannot just go on without any time frame for dealing with these issues.
”If after we provide some support and someone is found short of expectations, he should be shown the way out if he refuses to go because the lives of Nigerians are so precious and therefore must be more important than any other considerations or sentiments.
”I believe that today, the most essential thing in government is to address the security challenges.”
The senate-president, therefore, reiterated the determination of the National Assembly to support and empower the security agencies in addressing security challenges across the country.
He also stressed the need to provide more funds to the nation’s security sector so as to recruit additional personnel for the successful execution of their mandates.
”You know the country is facing very deep and serious security challenges and I have come to discuss with Mr president what we discussed previously, that we should do whatever it takes to improve the security situation in the country.
”We believe that the senate and indeed the National Assembly is positively disposed to receiving even supplementary budget purposely to address the fundamental needs of the security agencies of our country.
”This is to enable them to fight the Boko Haram in the North East, banditry and other security challenges across the country.
”Secondly, in the Senate, we believe we need to provide more resources for recruitment by the security agencies like the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, immigration, and the paramilitary generally.
”We need to have more manpower or personnel and this is not something you get on a platter of gold. Whoever wants to make an omelet will break an egg,” he said.
According to him, Section 14 subsection 2b of the Constitution of Nigeria is very categorical and crystal clear, that the purpose of government shall be to provide for security and welfare of the people.
The senate president, therefore, maintained that the government has no option other than to address the security challenges more than any other thing.
He said: ”We provided for N500 billion intervention for COVID for the revised budget, and various agencies, the CBN, the NNPC and the IOCs provided for palliatives and some kind of interventions for the COVID challenge.
On the APC crisis, Mr Lawan said: ”I believe that we have to deal with these challenges, this is the ruling party with the president; with the control of the National Assembly; with more governors than any other political party.”
He, therefore, warned that the situation should not, must not be allowed to degenerate further as ”the stability of APC is the stability of Nigeria; this is the party that is running the affairs of this country.
”So, I believe that we have to sort this out and that will make our work even better and easier when we have a stable party as the party is supposed to be part of the apparatus of running government.
”We are supposed to run or operate or implement or execute the manifesto of the party.
”And therefore the party is so key, so central, so essential to ensuring that government, whether on the executive or legislative side, continues to face those issues in the manifesto and of course the manifesto will be to make Nigeria better.”
Mr Lawan challenged the leadership of the party across the country to make every possible effort to get the party reconciled.
He expressed optimism that ”by the grace of God in the next few days we will see certain actions will be taken and we are praying that all our leaders in the party across the country will make every possible effort to get the party reconciled”.