By Nuel Suji, Abuja.
The Senate on Tuesday failed to resolve its logjam on President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for extension of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, six day after its expiration.
The senators met behind closed door for eight hours today with the Military Service Chiefs who were summoned to brief the senate on security situation in the troubled northeast zone.
Last week, the senate met twice behind closed door in absence of Service Chiefs but the lawmakers were unable to reach a common ground.
Those who were in attendance were Chief of Army Staff(CDS) Kenneth Minamah, Chief of Air staff, Air Vice Marshall Adesola Amosun and the Director of the State Security Service, Mr. Ekpeyong Ita.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the parley, Chairman Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe said the military assured the lawmakers their capacity to tackle insurgency.
He however, added that the military has some problem “with equipment and of course, all the other ancillary problems where you have to fight an asymmetrical war.”
According to him, “The interaction was very frank and very detailed. The constraints of the Nigerian army in dealing with the insurgency.
“We also looked into the budgetary provision for them and what has been done so far in containing the insurgency and I can tell you the Senate was very, very impressed by the response from the military and like I said, the military has shown itself to be capable of dealing with the insurgency,” he said.
Adding that: “The fact that they are capable of dealing with the insurgency means that the Senate will do all it needs to within its power to support the military so that we can bring this insurgency to a quick resolution.
“We also found from their briefing that we have some problems which has to do with the troops levels and the level of equipment and of course, all the other ancillary problems where you have to fight an asymmetrical war, not a formal conflict and we are very glad that that the military is at this moment, gearing up itself to be able to deal with this asymmetrical conflict in the north-east of Nigeria,” Abaribe said.
“As of today, we have the briefing and we can assure Nigerians that the military is up to the task of dealing with this matter,” he added.
He however, added that “the question of state of emergency was not what was on the table today and we are going to also wait until it is brought to the floor of the Senate before we discuss it. What the Senate did today was to separate the two questions.
“Of course, the military continues to insist they need the state of emergency to be able to conduct operations in a manner that will bring it to a quick resolution. When the Senate now takes the issue of the state of emergency, of course you’ll be there, it will be discussed in open plenary.”