The Senate has asked Nigeria’s military chiefs to ‘step aside’ to enable a new set with new ideas tackle insecurity across the country.
This is one of the resolutions adopted after the lawmakers deliberated on a motion on the rising number of casualties among soldiers and other security agencies. The motion was sponsored by Ali Ndume.
This call comes barely 48 hours after an ambush by suspected bandits in Katsina State on Saturday left at least 16 soldiers and officers dead and 28 others wounded.
Officers killed in the attack included a major, a captain and a lieutenant, Two bandits were also injured in the exchanges.
The army is currently engaged in various combat operations as insecurity worsens across the country.
Thousands of soldiers are engaged in the decade-long war against Boko Haram in the Northeast, while others are in various other formations across the country battling different forms of insecurity.
In his presentation, Mr Ndume expressed worry about the rising casualties among the troops.
While he appreciated the sacrifices that the soldiers make for the country, he emphasised the need for better service conditions for them.
Should the trend of incessant attacks on the troops continue, it will affect the nation’s fight against insecurity, he said.
“The senate appreciates the sacrifice of our armed forces in the fight against the insurgency and banditry and protection of territorial integrity and several other security assignments given to them.
“The senate is concerned that if the trend continues, it would have serious implications on the fight against insurgency, banditry.
“It has been alleged that over 200 soldiers voluntarily resigned their engagement or appointment with the Nigerian army,” he said.
Other lawmakers like Istifanus Gyang and the Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, took turns to condemn the attacks which they described as disturbing.
They also called for urgent attention.
The lawmakers also mandated their committees on Defence, Army, Navy, Police, Airforce, National Security and the ministry of interior to receive briefings from security agencies on the state of affairs in this regard.
They also urged the federal government to intensify the provision of modern equipment to enhance the service of the military.
Tuesday’s call for the exit of service chiefs is not the first from the ninth assembly.
The lawmakers had in January called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the service chiefs and appoint new ones.
They made the call after a four-hour deliberation on a motion on national security challenges and the need to restructure the nation’s security architecture.