PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari,Sunday had a closed door meeting with the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan at the State House, Abuja on Sunday.
Toping the agenda of the meeting was the security challenges in the country, performance of the Service Chiefs, and the ongoing crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, apart.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said that he briefed the President on what was discussed on the floor of the senate as it concerns the myriads of security challenges that have bedevilled the country.
According to Lawan, “You know that the country is facing many serious and deep security challenges and I have come to meet with Mr President to discuss with him what we have discussed in the senate previously that we should do whatever it will take to improve the security situation in the country.
“And we believe that the Senate and indeed the National Assembly is positively disposed to receiving even supplementary budget purposely to address the fundamental needs of the security agencies in the country so that we will be able to empower them to enable them to fight the Boko Haram in the North East, banditry and other security challenges across the country”.
“Secondly, in the senate particularly, we believe that we need to provide more resources for recruitment by the security agencies, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Police, the Immigration. The Paramilitary generally need to also have more manpower and personnel and this is not something that we can get on a platter of gold. whoever wants to make an omelette will have to break eggs.
Section 14, sub-section 2b of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is very categorical and crystal clear that the purpose of government shall be to provide security and welfare of the people and therefore we must, we have no luxury of any option other than to ensure that we address the security challenges more than any other thing.
“We provided for N500 billion worth of intervention for the COVID-19 in the revised budget and various agencies, the CBN, NNPC and the IOCs provided for palliatives and some kind of intervention for the COVID challenge.
I think we must tell ourselves the truth that the security situation today especially in the Northern part of the country requires that we even give much more resources to the security agencies and those who are heading these agencies especially the Service Chiefs must sit up.
Talking about service chiefs, Lawan said,
“In fact, we must have milestones and timelines on how we are going to deal with this. We can’t just go on without any time frame for dealing with these issues. If after we provide some support and someone is found short of expectation he should be shown way out if he refuses to go.
The lives of Nigerians are so precious and therefore must be more important than any other consideration or sentiment. I believe that today the most essential thing for us in government is to address the security challenges.”
Commenting on the crisis in APC , he said: “But I also had the opportunity to talk to my leader, the President about the challenges in APC. I believe that we have to deal with these challenges, this is the ruling party of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with the President, with the control of the National Assembly, with more governors than any other political party, the situation should not and must not be allowed to degenerate further than it has.
“And I believe that we must go into the constitution of our party and see how we are to address this but we must not allow this to continue as it is today because, the stability of APC is the stability of Nigeria, this is the party that is running the affairs of this country.
“So, I believe that we have to sort this out and that will make our work even better and easier when we have a stable party because the party is supposed to be part of the apparatus of running a government. We are supposed to run or operate or implement or execute the manifesto of the party.
And, therefore, the party is so key, so central, so essential to ensuring that government whether on the executive or legislative side continues to face those issues in the manifesto and of course the manifesto will be to make Nigeria better.
“So, I had the opportunity to discuss that with the president who is the leader of the party in Nigeria and by the grace of God in the next few days we will see certain actions will be taken and we are praying that all our leaders in the party across the country will make every possible effort to get the party reconciled.”