Armed ViolenceNews

Zabarmari Massacre: Lawmakers Ask President To Sack Service Chiefs

The Senate on Tuesday passed a resolution asking President Muhammadu Buhari to relief the Service Chiefs of their appointment and appoint new hands following the gruesome murder of over 70 rice farmers by Boko Haram in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria on Saturday.

During plenary, the lawmakers after a debate on the security situation in the country and the Saturday killing of the rice farmers recommended to the President to also to restructure and remodel the entire security architecture and investigate allegations of widespread corruption and leakages within the security architecture.

President  Buhari had on Monday said he had given a marching order to the armed forces “to take the fight to the insurgents,” in response to the murder more than 43 farmers in Zabarmari, Borno State.

Members of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, had on Saturday afternoon beheaded the farmers.

In a statement by his media aide, Buhari said the war against Boko Haram fighters would henceforth not be one-off but would go on “until we root out the terrorists”.

“Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians,” he said.

“Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.”

However, the Senate further called for the recruitment of 10,000 civilian JTF to complement the efforts of the armed forces and explore a multilateral partnership with Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.

Kashim Shettima, a former Governor of Borno State and a senator representing Borno Central Senatorial District had earlier raised the motion at plenary noting that President Buhari should remove the security chiefs and replace them with new ones with ideas to address the alarming insecurity in the country.

According to Channels Television, The lawmaker also claimed that 67 farmers were killed in the attack.

He warned that any government that cannot protect the lives of its citizens losses any iota of legitimacy.

There have been many calls in the past for the removal of Service Chiefs over growing insecurity challenges in the country and their apparent failure to find a lasting solution.

The North East Elders for Peace and Development (CNEEPD) had in September asked the President to remove the Service Chiefs and bring in new hands to effectively confront the secu­rity challenges facing the country.

“There is no denying the fact that at this moment, the entire nation is distressed by the incessant mind­less killing of our citizens and pillaging of defenceless com­munities by insurgents, ban­dits and kidnappers,” the group said in a statement issued by Zana Goni, its chairman.

“There is no denying the fact also that these have resulted in indescribable agony, anguish and torment to the Nigerian citizens.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has passed a resolution to invite President Buhari to brief the house on the true state of the security situation in the country.

The House during plenary on Tuesday resolved that the president should appear before it when deliberating on a motion moved by members from Borno State on the recent massacre of 43 rice farmers in the state by Boko Haram insurgents.

No date was announced for the invitation.

The House became rowdy after Femi Gbajabiamila ruled that it would not be appropriate for the president to disclose the actions being taken towards handling the security situation in the country.

According to him, it would be counter-productive.

Some members of the House were opposed to the speaker’s position and this turned into a divisive debate.

The House then went into an executive session to resolve the matter.

Nigerian Government had several times that insurgent group Boko Haram had been technically defeated. But the terrorist group has not stopped targeting civilians and military formations.

In 2018, Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to President Buhari, defended President’s approval of $1billion for the purchase of military equipment, saying those attacking the president were just “blowing hot air”.

Justifying the need for the investment, Shehu said Nigeria is “still at war with Boko Haram” even though the insurgents had been “technically defeated”.

“I think a lot of the judgments are hasty. After the Federal Executive Council approval, ministers will go to the President, they will seek approval of the President of the council, the council will approve and then say go to the National Assembly,” Shehu said on Friday while featuring on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

“The process has begun, it’s not concluded. Therefore, everyone will be involved. The President will not breach the constitution of this country. Approval at that level is granted, there is nothing controversial.

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Yekeen Akinwale

Yekeen Akinwale is a multiple award-winning investigative journalist with over 17 years journalism experience across different newsrooms in Nigeria. He had previously worked at Leadership Newspaper, Nigerian Compass, New Telegraph and Freedom Newspaper. A graduate of Mass Communication, Akinwale was the Head of Newsroom at the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) before joining HumAngle. He is passionate about investigative reporting, environment, climate change and developments. Akinwale is the 2018 Investigative Journalist of the Year for Diamond Media Award for Excellence (DAME) and 2019 Business Reporter of the Year for Nigeria Media Merit Award ((NMMA).

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