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Worsening Insecurity: Abuja Under Threat, Senate Cries Out

Senate on Wednesday raised the alarm over worsening insecurity in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, saying the nation’s seat of power is under threat.

According to the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, the FCT has been infiltrated, citing recent attacks in Kubwa, Bwari and other parts of Abuja.

Akpabio bared his mind on the security situation in the FCT before the Senate adjourned its briefing with heads of security agencies to next week over the absence of National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, and Chief of Defence Staff, Christopher Musa.

Senate had last week summoned the security chiefs to brief it on the worsening insecurity in the country and efforts to tackle the problem.

The invitation came following the rise in the incidence of killings and kidnappings in many part of the country, including the FCT.

But the security meeting earlier scheduled to hold on Wednesday was postponed to February 13 after the Senate had admitted those present into the chamber.

Those in attendance were Chief of Army Staff, Taoreed Lagbaja; Chief of Naval Staff,Emmanuel Ogalla; and Chief of Air Staff, Hassan Abubakar; Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi.

The Senate President said the interactive session with heads of security agencies was shifted because some of those invited did not turn up.

Akpabio said the Chief of Defence Staff, Director General of National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai and Defence and Police Affairs Ministers needed to be present to have a holistic review of the situation.

The Senate President in his speech before adjourning the security briefing, said, “The situation is worrisome in Agatu, in Taraba, Oyo, Plateau, Mangu, Bokkos, Barkin Ladi. We also heard about the infiltration (of bandits) into the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in places like Kubwa and Bwari.

“We have heard reports that they have cells where they are congregating. We’ve also heard the efforts of the security chiefs and the security agencies but reports are becoming worrisome and we decided to invite you to brief us on the efforts to tackle this menace.

“While we welcome you, we are not passing the buck, we are not blaming you. But you are not complete.

“We want you to know that we represent the Nigerian people and we will only do their will. The Senate is of the view that the FCT is under threat.

“We received apologies from NSA that he is in a bilateral meeting with security chiefs from the UK. We believe that the team is still not complete.

“But my opinion is that we would like to have with you, the chief of Defence Staff, NSA, Minister of Defence, Minister of State for Defence, we will also want the minister of Police affairs, and the Minister of State for Police Affairs in addition.

“We strongly believe that the Director General of NIA should be in attendance, and the Minister of Finance should also be in attendance,” Akpabio said.

Those expected at the Tuesday’s meeting are the Chief of Defense Staff; National Security Adviser; Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff; the Chief of the Air Staff, the Inspector General of Police; the Director General of DSS; NIA DG; Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru; Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle; Minister of Police Affairs, Ibrahim Geidam; and Minister of State for Police Affairs, Imaan Suleiman Ibrahim.

Also, the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, the Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo are expected to be in attendance.

Akpabio, then directed the clerk of the senate to inform those invited to endeavour to turn up next week.

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