…‘I wonder how Boko Haram still survives’ – Buhari
By Our correspondents
The House of Representatives on Wednesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration declare a state of emergency on Nigeria’s security sector.
The decision followed a motion of Urgent Public Importance moved by the Chief Whip of the house, Rep. Mohammed Monguno, during plenary presided over by the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila.
The motion was tagged, “Recent Attack by Boko Harem Insurgents at Auno Village, Borno State”.
Monguno, who presented the motion, said commuters on the Damaturu-Maiduguri road were compelled to suspend their journeys once it was 6 p.m due to security challenges in the northeast.
“Auno village is one of the spots where the Nigerian Armed Forces instruct the commuters on the Damaturu-Maiduguri road to spend the night before proceeding their journeys the next morning.
“On Sunday, February 9, 2020, while commuters in their hundreds were waiting in the Auno village, the military men left them or at best abandoned them,” he said.
Monguno also expressed concern that while the commuters were waiting to spend the night, Boko Haram insurgents attacked, kidnapped and burnt some of their vehicles.
“The occupants of two Hummer Buses and one Sharon Bus were kidnapped, 18 vehicles burnt and 30 people killed, including an infant,’’ he said.
The lawmaker said the non-existence of a “super Military camp” on the Damanturu-Maiduguri road is exposing commuters to dangers of being “killed, maimed or kidnaped”.
He added that keeping commuters waiting at night was dangerous in view of the security challenges in Nigeria, especially in the North-East.
The Minority Leader of the house, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta), who also supported the motion, reiterated the call for the removal of security chiefs.
The house, however, urged the military authority “to henceforth stop the keeping of commuters overnight at a particular period on the Damaturu-Maiduguri road and allow them to proceed on their journeys after 6 p.m.”
The lawmakers directed the house committees on Army, National Security, and Intelligence to investigate the remote causes of the attack.
The green chamber also directed the Committee on Army to look into the setting up of super camps in Auno, and the withdrawal of the military from checkpoints.
However, Buhari lamented over the continued operation of Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State despite military onslaughts.
The president wondered how Boko Haram insurgents have been surviving despite security measures put in place.
Buhari, therefore, appealed to the people of Borno State to liaise with the military and other security agencies in fight against insurgency in the state.
Buhari, who paid a condolence visit in to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-Kanemi, on Wednesday in Maiduguri, said cooperation will facilitate successful implementation of the counter-insurgency campaign.
Buhari was in Borno to sympathise with government and people over the killing of 30 persons in the recent Boko Haram insurgents’ attack at Auno in Konduga Local Government Area.
“Boko Haram, or whatever they are, cannot come up to Maiduguri or its environs without the local leadership knowing; traditionally, the local leadership is in charge of security in their own respective areas.
“With my understanding of our culture, I wonder how Boko Haram survives up to this end.
“As the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, I campaigned in 2015 and last year on three fundamental issues which include security – you cannot preside over an institution or a country if it is not secured.
“This is just common sense, everybody knows this, even those that have not gone to school knows this.
“If youths do not cooperate with government; they are endangering their future; I am already 77 now, how many years do I expect under a normal circumstances?”
“We are working for you in this country; as Commander-in-Chief, I am dealing with the security institutions and I believe there is improvement in security.
“I urge the people of the state to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies; let us deny Boko Haram access to our loyal citizens and encourage displaced people to go back to their land.”