Abuja Is Under Threat – FG

by Ohepo Ohepo

On Wednesday, the Senate voiced its concern regarding the escalating insecurity, emphasizing that the national capital was in jeopardy. Senate President Godswill Akpabio highlighted that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had been compromised, citing incidents of violence in areas such as Kubwa and Bwari to underscore his argument.

Akpabio made these remarks prior to postponing the Senate’s session with security agency leaders to the following week due to the absence of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, and the Chief of Defence Staff, Christopher Musa.

Previously, the Senate had called upon these security officials to provide an update on the increasing insecurity throughout Nigeria and the steps being taken to mitigate this threat. This request was made amidst a rise in murders and abductions across various regions, including the FCT.

The security briefing, initially scheduled for Wednesday, was deferred to February 13 after admitting the present attendees into the chamber. Present were Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff; Emmanuel Ogalla, Chief of Naval Staff; Hassan Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff; Kayode Egbetokun, Inspector-General of Police (IGP); and Yusuf Bichi, Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Akpabio mentioned that the session with the security agency heads was postponed because not all invitees were present. He pointed out that the Chief of Defence Staff, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai, and the ministers of defence and police affairs were necessary for a comprehensive analysis of the situation.

Before adjourning the security briefing, the Senate President expressed concern about the security situation in various areas, including Agatu, Taraba, Oyo, Plateau, Mangu, Bokkos, and Barkin Ladi. He noted the reports of bandit infiltration in the FCT, particularly in Kubwa and Bwari, and the existence of bandit hideouts.

Acknowledging the efforts of the security chiefs and agencies, Akpabio emphasized the growing concern over the reports and the Senate’s decision to call for a briefing on the actions taken to address the security challenges.

He clarified that the Senate was not assigning blame but acting on behalf of the Nigerian populace. Akpabio underlined that the absence of key figures, including the NSA due to a meeting with UK security chiefs, left the team incomplete for a thorough discussion.

Akpabio stressed the importance of having the Chief of Defence Staff, NSA, ministers of defence, police affairs, and others, including the Director General of NIA and the Minister of Finance, to participate in the discussion for a more holistic view of the security situation.

The forthcoming meeting is expected to include a comprehensive list of security and government officials, aiming to address the security issues more effectively. Akpabio directed the Senate clerk to ensure all invited individuals are present for next week’s session.

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