Senate rejects report on Kaduna crisis

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Nigerian Senate has rejected the report of its ad-hoc committee on the southern Kaduna crisis, and other parts of the country, describing it as incomprehensive.

Senate turned down the report, following the consideration of the report presented by its ad-hoc committee Chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya.

In his reaction to the recommendations in the report, the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu observed that the ad-hoc committee did not reflect the seriousness of the crisis.

He particularly noted that, “looking at the recommendations, to say that we have to use money from the service wide volt to address this matter shows our misunderstanding of the concept of the service wide volt”.   

On his part, Senator Barnaba Gemade submitted that the ad-hoc committee should examine and include in its recommendations, those issues that address the fundamental requirements of “our nationhood.”

According to him, “the issue here must be that we must track genuine normal citizens of this region that are going about peacefully and doing their business. And we must isolate them from the criminals who are also tagging along to provide criminality as a means to deal with the innocent people in these various locations. So, we need to look at the fundamentals of this matter and I believe that this committee will certainly have an enormous work to do.”  

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki while ruling on the motion, urged members of the committee to take back the report with a view to critically examine some of the issues identified and produce a more in-depth report that will be acceptable by all.

“It’s an interim report, and I think that many other parts of the country that we wanted to find out the status of situations in those area, were not covered by this report. So, we want the committee to go back and address the other parts of the country that have not been covered by the report.”

Recommendations

The ad-hoc committee recommended that, the federal and the state governments should review all laws on illegal acquisition and possession of fire arms and ammunitions in order to curtail the proliferation of arms in the country.

It also recommended that the Federal government should intervene through a special service wide volt to assist states with security challenges through funding or re-imbursement of the huge sums spent on security by those states.

Others recommendations include, that the state governments should collaborate with traditional, political, and religious leaders to immediately initiate, monitor and implement holistic reconciliation strategies through regular and inclusive town hall meetings in order to restore lasting peace in the affected areas.

The state governments should liberate the youths from mental and economic colonialism by the elites through elaborate education and creation of employment opportunities for them. according to the ad-hoc committee, there should be synergy among neighbouring state governments for the protection of the states territorial borders, unwanted elements, asylums, and criminals in such states.

Senate thereafter adjourned plenary until the 25th day of April, 2017 to observe the Easter holiday, and enable the various sub-committees on appropriations to finalise their work on the MDAs for onward submission to the appropriations committee.

 

Nnenna.O