•As Buhari seeks UN support in IDPs rehabilitation, infrastructure
By Ikechukwu Okaforadi, Musa Adamu and Lawrence Olaoye
Senate yesterday, for over two hours, grilled the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, over the spreading menace of armed banditry, kidnapping and killings which has escalated beyond Zamfara to other states of the federation.
This is just as the President Muhammadu Buhari has sought the support of the United Nations (UN) and the international community in the nation’s rehabilitation efforts for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and physical infrastructures destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents .
Recall that the security crisis of armed banditry, kidnapping and killing has over the past few years transcended from the states of Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, to other states such as Plateau, Benue, and Nasarawa states, to mention few.
To this end, the IGP was summoned by the Senate to brief the lawmakers on the unfortunate development, to keep them abreast of what the force is doing to bring the situation under control.
The security briefing is aimed also at enabling the lawmakers to know the possible areas through which the parliament can intervene in addressing the security challenges facing the country.
Speaking after meeting with the IGP, which was held behind closed door, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the IG briefed the lawmakers on the security situation in Zamfara and other parts of the country.
“We deliberated on armed banditry, robbery, terrorists activities and other security challenges in the country. The Nigeria Police efforts in ameliorating the situation and challenges and hoped to address the menace squarely. He promised to address areas that has to do with discipline of officers that have been found wanting.
“He assured that efforts would be made on the situation in particularly on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and also on the areas of intelligence and security. The senate promised and committed on areas of solving the issues.
“The senate is ready to give adequate funding that is required in order to make the Police be able to combat the necessary stress to our security”, he said.
Meanwhile, speaking with journalists after the closed door session, the Police IG said the number of police officer in the country is not enough to deal with the increasing insecurity in the country.
According to him, “We discussed the issue of insecurity within the country and we have expanded a lot of strategies that we put in place that is working.
“And we have reviewed the strategies in order to mitigate some of the challenges that emerged again and they have appreciated what we presented and also they gave suggestions on how to enhance the strategy that we are deploying. They have agree to support us in every aspect, every area that we need in order to do our job to make the country safe.
“Policing is dynamic and you cannot give ultimatum to deal with a crime. The number of personnel we have can never be enough and the government is doing its best and every year, we are recruiting more policemen. This year we have about 10,000 again to recruit.
“At least, the number is growing. Very soon we will meet up with the required number that is needed for us to deploy to fight crime”, he said.
On the alleged rape of some arrested social sex workers by policemen, the IGP said the Force is going to set up a panel to investigate the allegation, adding that anybody caught and proven to have done that will face the law.
The President, according to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, made the demand when the President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, paid him a visit at the Presidential Villa yesterday.
“The condition of internally displaced persons ((IDPs) in the country is pathetic. We have at least a million children who neither know their parents, nor where they come from,” the President told Garces.
He added that damage to infrastructure, particularly in the North-east, has been horrendous: “Bridges have been blown up, schools, hospitals, churches, mosques, and other buildings have been destroyed. All these will be rehabilitated, and every form of international help is welcome.”
On the recharge of Lake Chad through inter-basin water transfer from Congo River, President Buhari said climate change was quite real to the region, noting that no fewer than 30 million people are negatively affected by the shrinking lake, with at least half of them being Nigerians.
He stressed the role the international community needed to play in the endeavour, since recharging the lake was beyond the financial power of the affected countries.
The UNGA President commended Nigeria for being a key part of the United Nations system, saying the country was well respected in the global body.
“Nigeria is a major troops’ contributor to peace keeping operations, and a major part of the human rights architecture,” Ms Garces said.
She commended President Buhari’s leadership of ECOWAS, and of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, pledging to call the attention of the international community to the “hurting effects” of the Lake Chad problem, and other issues raised by the Nigerian leader.
The UNGA President also lauded Nigeria for rehabilitating the UN building in Abuja, which was destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents during an attack in August, 2011.
In a separate interaction with newsmen after the meeting with the President, Garces, while commenting on the UN Security Council Reform said there was no consensus yet from UN member states on enlargement of the Council to accommodate African states.
According to her, many of the permanent members of the Security Council do not have the political will to expand the Council.
She said “The process of reforms has started 25 years ago and the mandate to negotiate the reform came 10 years ago when I was the ambassador of Ecuador at the UN. And at the time I thought we had a resolution to start the negotiations and with a great naivety, I thought this is going to be a process that will perhaps be for two or three years. Ten years later, I have to say that there is no consensus, there are very different views and positions regarding the reform process. As we know, we need consensus to advance reforms. This is one of the issues where my work as the president is to lead to make sure that we agree on the fundamentals to ensure that the process is inclusive and transparent. That the outcome of the reform is going to depend very much on the political will of member states themselves. Then of course, the African position is well known and there are also different groups that also have different positions, we are trying to bring them together and find a common denominator.”
Asked what the UN is doing to ameliorate the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad area, she said that the world body has been deploying all its capacities and development apparatus working in the area, supporting governments, countries and the leader to improve humanitarian aid according to people’s needs in the regions and micro regions.