The leadership of the Nigerian senate met with the nation’s military and intelligence officials on Monday to discuss the nation’s progress against terrorism, oil theft, and insecurity.
The conference, which was a continuation of one conducted four weeks earlier, was presided over by the Senate’s president, Ahmad Lawan, and was also attended by the vice president, Ovie Omo-Agege, other top senatorial officials, and the chairmen of the Senate’s security committees.
In his opening remarks before the meeting went into a closed-door session, the Senate President told the security chiefs;
“Before we closed for our annual summer recess, Distinguished Senators and indeed, members of the National Assembly expressed so much concerns with respect to the security situation prevailing and we felt we must engage our security agencies so that together, we will continue to fight these challenges in our country.
“I am happy and I’m sure I’m speaking the mind of my colleagues, that after that meeting, till today, we have seen a remarkable difference in the fight against insecurity in our country by our Armed Forces and other security agencies and we are very proud of that.
On the December 2022 deadline, the Senate President said; “We pray that this continues because we have seen the initiative and it is for us to finish the job. When Mr President spoke of ensuring that we return to normalcy by December 2022, I’m sure he had in mind what you have been doing recently.
“I believe that you, our Armed Forces and other security agencies have everything in terms of morals and determination, even though we still have to give some other support. This meeting therefore is to review what has happened so far.
“While we fight the insecurity in the country, sometimes we capture bandits alive. Those who have made every effort to steal our oil at an industrial scale, I’m sure some of them may not be that lucky to escape.
“We want to see trials of people who are caught because when that happens, citizens will know that nobody, no matter how high that person is, can go scot-free if he or she decides to get involved in this kind of criminal activities.”
“Of course, I will appeal to our courts – judiciary – once we have cases like this, we must give expeditious consideration, because these are the issues that, today, are militating against our stability and even against our democracy.
“We lose so much of our oil. As at the last count, the report was that we export just little above 900,000 barrels. And that is just about 50 percent because it is supposed to be 1.8million barrels per day and that is halving our revenues and our resources for development.
“So I want to appeal to the judiciary to give a special consideration once a suspected oil thief is taking to Court. We must prosecute them. It is not enough to just take away whatever they have stolen and say go and sin no more.”
Senate is also scheduled to meet with members of the Executive this week, led by the Finance Minister over the 2023 Appropriation Bill, & Senator Lawan believes that security would be of top priority.