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Insecurity: Representatives reject motion to use mercenaries

ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Members of the House of Representatives yesterday spoke out against a motion calling on the Federal Government to involve mercenaries in the fight against insecurity in the country.

The lawmakers, who contributed to Ahmed Jaha’s proposal as an amendment to a motion on banditry in parts of Katsina State, said using mercenaries could be counterproductive.

Jaha had argued that since security challenges in the country still persisted despite the efforts of the security forces, it was time for the government to use mercenaries as it did during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

“Since you are dealing with insurgents, there is nothing wrong with asking other countries for our help. Nigeria is not as powerful and influential as Ukraine or Russia. There is nothing wrong with bringing in mercenaries to rid our country of insecurity. If not, the hunger we faced this year will be even worse next year. Their strategy now is to attack farmers and prevent them from going to their farmlands.

“We commend our security forces; they have done well, but we need help. We deserve to know the truth so we know what to communicate to our voters.”

However, Immediate Past Deputy Speaker Idris Wase said the question of whether or not the government should use mercenaries is not something that can be discussed publicly.

Wase noted that no parliament around the world discusses sensitive security issues in public.

Similarly, Abbas Adigun said it would be insensitive for the Nigerian government to employ mercenaries to combat insecurity in the country.

“Asking another country to send us mercenaries is an insult to the giant of Africa that we are. Our security services can work with retired service chiefs to get this work done. We must increase the capacity of our security services. We need to look at the well-being of our security forces. If they go out, there’s a 50 percent chance they won’t come back. So what happened to their families?

“They need modern equipment to deal with the insurgents. Do we have everything we need to combat them effectively? No. During the 9th General Assembly, nothing was done about everything we discussed regarding security and that is why I am not attending any security meeting in this assembly,” he said.

The Vice Chairman, Benjamin Kalu, who was in the chair, after listening to the various submissions on the motion, begged Jaha to resign. Consequently, the legislature filed a motion to withdraw the motion, expressing hope that the issue would be discussed at a board meeting.

Nevertheless, the House resolved that its leaders would meet with President Tinubu to discuss issues surrounding the spate of insecurity in the country. It also urged the government to rebuild security infrastructure destroyed by insurgents.

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