Insecurity: Service Chiefs, IGP appear before Reps
The service chiefs and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, are before the House of Representatives.
The service chiefs include the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa; Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-General Taoreed Lagbaja; Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, and Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla.
They were ushered into the green chamber on Tuesday for the security sectoral debate around 11:26 am.
This comes after last Thursday’s criticism of the security heads by the lawmakers for sending representatives, who were rejected.
Before the executive session, the service chiefs and IGP took turns outlining the various efforts to address the country’s security situation.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, requested that the National Assembly intervene in enhancing surveillance to cover the backwaters, creeks, and other areas behind the coastline.
According to him, if this is done, oil theft, pipeline vandalization, and illegal refining will be monitored 24 hours consistently.
IGP Kayode Egbetokun outlined some challenges within the force, including poor logistics provision, insufficient patrol vehicles for police divisions, inadequate training, and poor welfare of personnel.
CDS Musa requested improved funding, disclosing that every military man including himself is fed N1,500 per day.
The defence chief wanted the collaboration of the judiciary to ensure that criminals are not released on technicalities and that special courts address arrests of high-level criminals.
He expressed concern that it puts the safety of security personnel at risk, adding that Simon Ekpa was a menace to the country and that action must be taken diplomatically.
On illegal mining, Gen. Musa expressed a desire for states to take over for proper management.
Anger Over Absence
The House of Representatives expressed indignation last week over the absence of the service chiefs and Egbetokun at an interactive session scheduled which was scheduled to be held last Thursday during plenary.
The security heads instead sent representatives.
The week prior, the House had scheduled a sectoral debate with the security chiefs as it planned to do with other sectors of the country.
Following a constitutional point of order by the Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, the House rejected the representation of the security heads and instead postponed the session.
The House proceeded to reschedule the engagement to Tuesday (today) as the House insisted that the service chiefs must appear at the debate.