Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Gbajabiamila Meets Olonisakin, Buratai, Ibas Over Nation’s Security Situation
By Adamu Abuh, Abuja
24 September 2019   |   4:15 am

Chief of Air Staff; Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; Chief of Naval Staff; Vice Marshal Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Army Staff; Lt. General Tukur Yusufu Buratai and Chief of Defence Staff; General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila yesterday met with heads of security outfits in the country to brainstorm on ways to improve the nation’s security situation.

The meeting, which held at the National Assembly complex was attended by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas and Chief of Air Staff (CAF), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

Also in attendance were principal officers of the House, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi and Comptroller General (CG) Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede.

Expectedly, the meeting, which was still being held behind closed doors as at 3pm yesterday, would douse tensions and reoccurrence of frosty relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government.

Gbajabiamila had embarked on a tour of states last week following recurring kidnappings, banditry and Boko Haram terrorism, which resulted in several groups casting aspersions on the nation’s service chiefs over their refusal to appear before the House to explain the security situation in the country.

The Speaker, who described their action as an affront on the parliament, promised to report the matter to President Muhammadu Buhari.

He also described the conduct of the service chiefs as a sad development since all arms of government were supposed to work in unison for the development of the country and benefit of all Nigerians.

“I believe my colleagues are in tandem with this. In the absence of the service chiefs, the security agencies are not represented as far as we’re concerned. When I said not represented, as far as I’m concerned, the heads are not here, the service chiefs are not here. I know one or two of the service chiefs were somewhere yesterday night. I am aware of that.

“I can almost say it shows disdain for this institution. The budget is on its way. Yes, we need to talk about that. What do you need? What is required? The truth is, I’m almost embarrassed,” Gbajabiamila said.

Speaking, Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase, described the incidence as an insult to the legislature, saying: “In strong terms, I condemn those who have failed to honour our invitation.
“As far as I’m concerned and as Chairman of the Committee, I never attended to any agency in the absence of the chief executives. And I know that the service chiefs are the accounting officers in their various agencies. It is our practice and tradition,” he said.

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