SUNDAY ABORISADE, ADELANI ADEPEGBA, TUNDE AJAJA, DENNIS NAKU,

GODWIN ISENYO  and UMAR MUHAMMED 

In light of the growing disquiet over the continued stay of the service chiefs amid the worsening insecurity in the country, there are strong indications that the leadership of the Senate may meet with the President, Major General , (retd.), again this week.

The meeting, according to a top source in the upper chamber, is at the instance of the senators that the military chiefs should be sacked.

This is coming at a time when the 36 governors, under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, resolved to meet the President as soon as possible to address security challenges across the country, and a time the House of Reps summoned the President to appear before it over the same issue.

While many Nigerians, including security professionals, retired military officers and well-meaning individuals have repeatedly called on the President to sack the service chiefs, the Senate on Tuesday passed a resolution asking Buhari to sack the military chiefs over their inability to address the rising insurgency in the country.

After futile efforts to get the President to sack the service chiefs via their resolutions and recurring visits of the National Assembly leadership to the Presidential Villa, the upper chamber had suggested that if the President was not willing to relieve the military chiefs of their appointments, he could constitute them into a presidential advisory committee on security.

The Senate had also advised the service chiefs to resign voluntary if the President refused to sack them, in the overall best interest of the country.

At the House of Representatives, the members on Tuesday passed a resolution summoning the President to appear before them to explain the gruesome killing of 43 rice farmers in Zabarmari Village in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents a week ago. The terrorists were said to have beheaded the farmers, an incident that attracted global condemnation and anger.

Meanwhile, investigations by our correspondent on Friday in Abuja, revealed that the leadership of the red chamber may have perfected arrangements to discuss the matter with Buhari before Tuesday when it was expected to brief other members at plenary.

It was learnt that some principal officers had suggested that the presiding officers should work on a joint sitting with the House of Representatives who are expecting the President in their chamber on Tuesday, December 10, over the same issue.

A principal officer of the Senate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told our correspondent on Friday that the idea of a joint sitting would not the best option because it would end up as a mere briefing from the President.

The source said, “Joining members of the House for a joint sitting for the briefing from the president may not serve the desired purpose because the president would only address the lawmakers and leave.

“There would definitely be no opportunity to ask questions. The president may even decide to spring surprises by offering to address the representatives through a virtual arrangement. We believe that the Senate leadership would achieve a better result by holding a meeting with the President at the Villa.”

The Senate Spokesperson, Dr Ajibola Basiru, when contacted on the issue, said the leadership of the senate had taken the necessary steps on the resolutions but he did not give further details.

He said, “The leadership would have done the necessary things immediately the resolution was passed.”

Tuesday’s decision by the Senate to pass a vote of no confidence in the service chiefs was the third time the red chamber would pass a similar resolution this year. The action followed a motion by a former governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima, on the recent killing of the rice farmers.

The Senate had after debating the motion concluded that Buhari should replace the security chiefs. While asking the President to restructure and remodel the nation’s security architecture, they also demanded a probe into the allegations of corruption levelled against some top hierarchy of the military.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who presided over the session, asked Buhari, to take the resolution of the red chamber, seriously.

He added, “We should not be despair that nothing has happened to our earlier resolutions. It is now important that the executive should implement the latest resolution because they are not frivolous. Enough of excuses, those who have nothing to offer in terms of securing the country should be showed the way out. The Security of Nigerians should take the centre stage.

The NGF had in a communiqué by its chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, after its 22nd meeting in Abuja on Friday said they would soon meet the President, particularly over the killing in Borno.

No quick fix for ending security challenges – Defence Minister

Meanwhile, the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, (retd.) has said there is no quick fix for effectively combating the various security challenges in the country.

The minister, who spoke on Saturday at the passing out parade of 108 Cadets of Direct Short Service Commission Course 27 at the Nigerian Naval College, Onne in Rivers State, stated that it was a matter of utmost necessity for the armed forces to continuously build institutional capacity through effective systematic and robust training merged with requisite capacities to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria from both external and internal aggression.

Afeez Hanafi

There is disquiet among family members of an 84-year-old retired civil servant in Enugu State, Mr Patrick Orafu, over his sudden disappearance from home.

Patrick, who resides with his children in Maryland, Enugu town, reportedly went missing on October 25, 2020 after returning from a church meeting which did not hold.

Sunday PUNCH learnt that he was last seen by his compound’s gate upon his return from the meeting around 4pm.

Patrick’s daughter, Uchenna Orafu, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, explained that they thought he had gone to see her brother, who lives on a neighbouring street.

She said the family became apprehensive when it was dusk and he was not back to the house.

Unchenna said when she called his mobile phone; a man responded and told her that he found the phone at a bus stop in Obeagu — some kilometres away from Maryland.

She said, “The person said he found the phone on the ground and told us to come to the bus stop. By the time we got there, the line had been switched off. We described him (Patrick) to motorists at the bus stop and they confirmed that they saw him pacing up and down and asked him where he was going.

“They said he told them he was going to Maryland and they advised him to take a ‘keke’ (tricycle) but he declined, saying he could find his way home by himself. We left after looking for him around the park.”

Uchenna said when they went back to the park the next day, someone claimed to have seen the old man around midnight within the vicinity.

She stated that they decided to pass the night at the park, hoping that Patrick would surface again but he did not.

She added, “We reported him missing at Nwani Police Station and some other divisions. We also reported at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.

“He was outside the gate when we came back from the meeting that day. He went to the next street and we thought he was going to visit my brother. But my brother said he didn’t see him.”

Asked if Patrick was having any health challenges, Uchenna answered in the negative, noting that he was healthy and always went out by himself.

“He is 84 years old and a retired civil servant. We have looked everywhere for him to no avail,” she said.

The police spokesperson in the state, ASP Daniel Ekea, said he had yet to receive a situation report on the case and promised to get back with comments.

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84-year-old Enugu retiree disappears from home
84-year-old Enugu retiree disappears from home

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