By Edwin Akwueh, Abuja
President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan has said that the Senate would adopt a radical approach in tackling the rising spate of kidnapping and insecurity across the country.
Senator Lawan made this known in his remarks during the consideration of a motion sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye at Wednesday’s plenary.
“The issue of kidnapping, banditry and other crimes affect all of us. I agree completely that we need to do something differently.
“You recall that before we went on recess, we agreed we need to go back to the report to review the architecture of security in Nigeria, which the 8th Senate set up, in addition to a public hearing on a way to ensure that we review the security architecture and structure of our agencies today.
“The way they are designed, we are not getting the best out of them; and we can’t go on like this. We will take it up with the executive arm of government, and also our Committee on Communications and the Federal Ministry of Communications,” he said.
The Senate President stated that the ministry has expressed its willingness to block all lines that have not been registered.
“The bandits and kidnappers use telephone lines to negotiate, so it means there will always be a lead to where or who they are.
“At the last count, I was told two million lines have been blocked. I think we should go far beyond that.
“And maybe we will need to be a bit radical. We need to give the security agencies some more funds but insist on accountability.”
Senator Lawan urged the security agencies to give an account on the utilisation of funds released to them.
“It is not enough to give them money; we must see how they utilise it. We must insist on that; and if we do that, we also insist that uniform people must not join the train, because they are the ones that are supposed to protect us on highways.
“The military, the police and other paramilitary agencies should allow ordinary people to use the train. Let them ply the roads, because that would make other road users to use the roads,” Lawan said.
Accordingly, the Senate urged the security agencies to adequately secure the Lokoja-Abuja road and other roads in the country, while intensifying efforts in protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians.
Among the prayers adopted in plenary, senate also resolved to introduce a legislation that would curb the activities of kidnappers in the country.