The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has said the National Assembly may be shut to help President Muhammadu Buhari administration find an end to the spate of killings by herdsmen and militias across the country.
The upper chamber of the National Assembly also noted that the campaign by the Federal Government for more foreign direct investments in the country would fail if the spate of insecurity persisted.
Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary on Tuesday, spoke while ruling on a motion moved by Senator Suleiman Adokwe (Nasarawa-South) over the continued killings in his senatorial district.
Adokwe said, “Throughout the weekend to this moment, herdsmen have unleashed mayhem on the people of my senatorial district, leaving many dead bodies, numerous injured persons and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons.
“The victims are largely the Tiv speaking ethnic nationalities, with a reported dead toll of 32 persons, and we are still counting.”
The senator described the attacks as “a well -coordinated and simultaneous carnage” across Awe, Obi, Keana and Doma Local Government areas of the southern senatorial district.
“The tragedy is that for four days running, this mayhem has continued unhindered, unchecked, unstopped by any arm of the law and security enforcement agencies.
“Indeed, right under the nose of the armed forces and the police, this killing is sustained by sheer negligence or refusal to act by the security agencies. It is very sad that in Nigeria, with all the security forces, a whole senatorial district will go on being punished by militia and no action coming from government,” Adokwe said.
Making reference to the recent call by a former Chief of Army Staff and ex-Minister of Defence, Lt-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), that Nigerians should defend themselves against killers, the lawmaker said the call was right.
He said, “It is no wonder that very eminent Nigerian citizens have urged Nigerians to defend themselves because their security is in their own hands and no longer in the hands of the Nigerian security forces.
“I am very emotional on this matter and I am not one given to emotion very easily. But what I have gone through this weekend is very horrifying; it is very distressing and sad. It is as if we are in a lawless society where life is brutish; where there is absence of state powers. We call on the Federal Government to stop this carnage.”
Several senators who spoke on the killings decried that Buhari, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, had not done enough to end the attacks. Some of them also accused the security agencies of negligence and bias.
After the debate on the motion, which lasted about one hour, Ekweremadu stated that there was the need for the legislature to do more in seeking an end to the killings.
He pointed out that the National Assembly could not exist without the people who the members are representing. He also said there would be no election if the electorate had been killed.
Ekweremadu said, “If we have nobody to represent, nobody will have a job here. So, security is more important than any other thing that we do here.
“If it gets to a level where we have to shut down this National Assembly and sit down with the executive for as long as it lasts to resolve the problem, we will have to do that.”
The Deputy Senate President said the chamber deliberately gave the matter the attention and priority it deserved through the debate.