The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to declare total war on the insurgents without any further delay.
This is just as senators expressed fear over the possibility of conducting general elections in 2015 due to worsening security situation in the north-east part of the country.
The Senate in its resolution directed its leadership, Chairmen of relevant security committees and Senators from Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States to meet President Jonathan on steps taken so far in tackling the insurgency.
Leading debate on the motion, Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma Egba, spoke on the threat the insurgency is posing to Nigeria’s National Security and territorial integrity.
In the motion co-sponsored by all the senators, senate expressed its worry on worsening security situation in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States despite the imposition of state of emergency in the said states since May last year.
Lamented that even most recently, the insurgents went ahead to carve out some local governments in the affected states as Caliphate under their control, which according to it, is a clear declaration of war against Nigeria that must be totally fought.
In debating the motion, many of the senators who spoke, aside calling on the federal government of Nigeria to make the security forces redouble their efforts in the fight against the insurgents, expressed fear that if the war is not decisively won now, the 2015 elections may be in jeopardy.
The deputy senate president, Ike EKweremadu specifically declared in his submission that things are getting worse on daily basis as far as Boko Haram insurgency in the North Eastern states is concerned despite repeated assurances by security chiefs.
” We have severally invited the security chiefs and they have severally assured that they would bring the situation under control. But things keep getting worse daily . We will get to a stage when it becomes difficult, giving Nigerians assurance,” he said.
Adding: “The senate should stand up to mediate in the security challenge in Nigeria because If what is happening in is not addressed, there may not be election next year.
“Nigeria is at war and the constitution says no election in war situation. Democracy is not working in north East and senate should do everything to restore security and democracy there”
In his own remarks, the President of the Senate, David Mark said the legitimacy of the existence of the National Assembly is challenged by the Boko Haram insurgents with their capturing of some local governments in the affected states and declaring them as Caliphate which is not known to the Nigeria Constitution as areas that can be represented in the National Assembly by any senator or House of Representatives member.
He said what the problem at hand requires, is total war against the insurgents by the Nation’s Armed Forces fully supported by all Nigerians.
He said:”My dear colleagues, to put it otherwise is to shy away from the truth. In my candid opinion, the Boko Haram sect has in no unmistakable terms declared a total war on Nigeria and Nigerians. Their ideology is alien to our culture. We must as a people and nation handle this situation with all the seriousness it deserves.
“I have consistently advocated dialogue as the needed panacea to this malaise. Sure, dialogue must not be ruled out but this time around, with this scale of warfare, we must first demonstrate our strength, confront and defeat these terrorists and insurgents before we resort to dialogue.
” This war has certainly come to our door-steps. As Senators of the Federal Republic, destiny has entrusted us to be at the helm of affairs today. We must all rise to the current challenge. The government must be supported fully by this Senate to confront the challenge head-long.
“Therefore, we must devise a better strategy to win this war at the earliest possible time. We must come out with clear, concise and unequivocal mission statement on how to win this war. As I have repeatedly said, we must as a matter of urgency, fish out the financiers of these terrorists and all collaborators wherever they are, and bring them to book. My appeal to you, my bosses, is to continue to provide the necessary legislative framework that is needed to win this war”
The senate in line with its resolve to give all the required backings to the Federal Government in the war against Boko Haram, also mandated its committee on Finance yesterday to expeditiously work on the $1billion external loan request President Jonathan forwarded to it in July and report back within one week.