By Nuel Suji, Abuja.
President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Thursday condemned in strong terms what he described as renewed onslaught against innocent Nigerians by the Boko Haram sect especially during the holy month of Ramadan.
Saraki also expressed deep pain over the death of six school children in Lagos following a boat mishap that involved 14 school children who were being conveyed across Ojo to Irewe jetty.
A statement released by the Media Office of the Senate President in Abuja and signed by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senate President. Yusuph Olaniyonu, quoted him as saying that the military authorities would do everything necessary to prevent the unwarranted attacks by Boko Haram from escalating.
He commended efforts made so far by President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that Nigerians are safe and secured in all parts of the country, especially in the North-East geo-political zone.
He was particularly unhappy that the insurgents could let loose their suicide squad on a day the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was in Maiduguri, on behalf of the Federal Government, for on-the-spot-assessment of the situation of the internally displaced persons with a view to providing additional succour to affected families and communities.
Saraki said: “It was really a sad day for me to learn that suicide bombers unleashed attack on the people on a day the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo visited Maiduguri to see things for himself and also visit beleaguered families and communities whose lives and means of livelihoods have been adversely affected by the barbaric acts of the insurgents.
“Boko Haram is not invincible and I have no doubt that the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari possesses the requisite political will and determination to decisively fight the insurgents and restore security to affected areas”, he said.
He commended the military for their bravery so far but noted that Nigerians are eager to see a quick end to these needless carnage and bloodletting.
On the tragic loss of six young lads and another six students yet to be accounted for after a boat that was travelling from Ojo to Irewe reportedly capsized in Lagos, the President of the Senate urged all relevant stakeholders including water transportation authorities and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to ensure that the six yet to be recovered children are found and taken out of the waters.
Saraki said: “This incident which is one too many is another wake up call for officials charged with the regulation of water transportation across the country to rev up their prevention strategies and emergency preparedness level so as to avoid future occurrence and prompt rescue of victims.”
While commiserating with the families of victims, he prayed God to grant repose to the soul of Nigerians whose lives were cut short by both the Maiduguri suicide bombing and the boat mishap in Lagos.
Saraki added: “Any life lost in these type of tragic circumstances is a star dimmed and it is my firm commitment that the Senate and indeed the National Assembly under my leadership will continue to fashion appropriate legislation aimed at strengthening the capacity of the present administration to appropriately prevent and respond to life wasting emergencies such as we have just witnessed.
“He urged all Nigerians especially the religious faithful to pray to God to continue to save our country from all forms of calamity.