Like Reps, Senate summons Buhari, mulls state of emergency

OrderPaperToday – In a move mirroring the decision of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the Senate has resolved to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the state of insecurity in the country.

Accordingly, both chambers of the National Assembly will have a joint session to receive the President.

Specifically, the Senate aims to encourage the President to declare a state of emergency in the troubled states of Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, and Zamfara as well as to review the performance of service chiefs.

The resolution of the Senate followed a motion by Senator George Akume (APC, Benue) who spoke on the continued killings in Benue State.

Akume expressed dismay over the ceaseless killing, maiming and wanton destruction of lives and property in Benue State.

Giving an account of the recent attack on a Catholic Church in Benue, Senator Akume said: “On the morning of Tuesday [the] 24th [of] April 2018, while some Christian faithfuls were gathered at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Ayar town in Gwer East Local Government Area for their routine morning mass and burial ceremony, they were ambushed by armed gunmen who opened fire indiscriminately on the worshippers, resulting in the deaths of two reverend fathers, namely Reverend Father Joseph Gor, Reverend Father Felix Tyolaha, a Catechist, John Ibor and 17 others.”

He added: “This latest attack on a worship centre which is unprecedented, has very grave implications for the security and unity of our dear nation.”

The former Governor of Benue State further revealed that there are over 200,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the State.

Contributing to the debate, Senators Yusuf Yusuf (APC, Taraba), Suleiman Adokwe (PDP, Nasarawa) and Joshua Lidani (PDP, Gombe) called for a state of emergency in the violence-prone states while the decision to invite the President was suggested by Senator Obinna Ogba (PDP, Ebonyi).

Other Senators who spoke expressed worry that the herdsmen crisis has extended beyond farmlands to places of worship, which is dangerous, especially considering the level of religious sensitivity across the country.

In its other resolutions, the Senate called for expedient action on the report of the security summit organized by the upper chamber in February, while observing a minute of silence in honour of victims of the latest attack in Benue State.

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