Who Speaks to Nigerians Now?

Who Speaks to Nigerians Now?

With the big boss not showing up, at least to speak to the nation, do we have any hope that these two men (Senate President Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila) can lead the National Assembly to fill the obvious void in national leadership.

Listening to Samuel Ortom , the governor of Benue state,  today, I was moved beyond emotions.  The words of Niger state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello,  were also touching.  Essentially, these governors are shouting to be heard – and helped.

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on security, following the recent sacking of 42 communities in Niger State by Boko Haram.

This was one of the 12 resolutions by the lawmakers following over three hours of executive session.

Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House, read the resolutions after the session.

This latest legislative intervention is coming in the wake of the revelation by the Niger State governor, Abuabakar Bello, that Boko Haram terrorists are in control of territories in Kaure and Shiroro local governments of the state.

Also, the lawmakers asked the federal government to recruit more personnel into the military and the police.

I understand that the Vice President cannot do much now. But people want to hear from their leaders as that is part of the job expectations. So, who speaks to Nigerians? Can Lawan and Gbajabiamila hold a town hall on national security if a live citizen-plenary is not possible?

In his contribution, Opeyemi Bamidele, a senator from Ekiti State, asked the Senate to “mandate the leadership of the National Assembly to book an appointment with the Commander-In-Chief on behalf of the 109 senators…because I’m not convinced that Mr President is aware of everything that’s happening.”

“…we need to be able to tell our constituents that we met with the commander-in-chief and this is what is being done,” he said.

The president recently asked the US to relocate AFRICOM from Germany to Africa towards helping to fix the security challenges in the region.

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday urged the United States to reconsider relocating US Africa Command (AFRICOM) from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa, nearer the Theatre of Operation, admonishing the international community to support Nigeria and the sub-region in tackling growing security challenges to avoid spillovers.
President Buhari, in a virtual meeting with the US Secretary of State, Mr. Anthony Blinken, said AFRICOM, which partners with countries to counter transnational threats, should be relocated to Africa to strengthen ongoing efforts to check the security situation, with likely effect on other nations.

“The security challenges in Nigeria remain of great concern to us and impacted more negatively, by existing complex negative pressures in the Sahel, Central and West Africa, as well as the Lake Chad Region.

“Compounded as the situation remains, Nigeria and her security forces remain resolutely committed to containing them and addressing their root causes. The support of important and strategic partners like United States cannot be overstated as the consequences of insecurity will affect all nations hence the imperative for concerted cooperation and collaboration of all nations to overcome these challenges.

“In this connection, and considering the growing security challenges in West and Central Africa, Gulf of Guinea, Lake Chad region and the Sahel, weighing heavily on Africa, it underscores the need for the United States to consider re-locating AFRICOM Headquarters from Stuttgart, Germany to Africa and near the Theatre of Operation,’’ he said.
The President said Nigeria will enhance collaborations in all forms, with friends and strategic partners, to work together for greater security for all, which remain the most significant condition for overcoming the existential challenges.

President Buhari congratulated Blinken on his appointment by President Joe Biden, and commended the United States for the decision to repeal the immigration restriction known as the “Muslim ban’’, re-joining the World Health Organization (WHO) and Paris Agreement on Climate Change.


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