Senate President Ahmad Lawan, on Sunday, met with President Muhammadu Buhari over the worsening security situation across the country and the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Lawan briefed State House journalists after the meeting with the president at the State House in Abuja.
He said he briefed the president on the need to provide more funding for security agencies for equipment and to recruit more personnel.
“… we believe we need to provide more resources for recruitment by the security yet agencies – army, the navy, air force, police, immigration, the paramilitary – generally. We need to have more manpower or personnel and this is not something you get on platter of gold,” he said.
On the APC crisis, Mr Lawan said he told the president that efforts must be made to ensure it does not get worse.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the ruling party is enmeshed in multiple crises with the main one involving the national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, whose suspension was recently approved by the appeal court.
Two people currently claim to be the acting national chairmen of the party while a sitting state governor (Edo) and a sitting deputy governor (Ondo) decamped from the party to the opposition PDP in the past week.
“I also had the opportunity to talk to my president and my leader about the challenges in the APC. I believe that we have to deal with these challenges, this is the ruling party of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with the president, with the control of the National Assembly, with more governors than any other political party. The situation should not, must not be allowed to degenerate further than it has,” Mr Lawan said.
Read the full transcript of Mr Lawan’s speech below.
You know the country is facing very deep and serious security challenges and I have come to discuss with Mr President what we discussed previously that we should do whatever it takes to improve the security situation in the country. And we believe that the senate and indeed the National Assembly is positively disposed to receiving even supplementary budget purposely to address the fundamental needs of the security agencies of our country; so that we able to empower them, enable them to fight the Boko Haram in the North East, banditry and other security challenges across the country.
Secondly, in the senate, we believe we need to provide more resources for recruitment by the security yet agencies -army, the navy, air force, lolice, immigration, the paramilitary -generally. We need to have more manpower or personnel and this is not something you get on platter of gold. Whoever wants to make an omelette will break an egg.
Section 14 subsection 2b of the constitution of the Federal Republic Nigeria is very categorical and crystal clear, that the purpose of government shall be to provide for security and welfare of the people. Therefore, we must, we have no luxury of any option other than to address the security challenges more than any other thing.
We provided for N500 billion intervention for COVID for the revised budget, and various agencies, the CBN, the NNPC and the IOCs provided for palliatives and some kind of interventions for the COVID challenge.
I think we must tell ourselves the truth, that the security situation in the country especially in the northern part of the country, require that we give much more resources to the security agencies. And those who are heading these agencies especially the service chiefs, must sit up, in fact we must have milestones and timelines on how we are going to deal with this, we can’t just go on without any time frame for dealing with these issues.
If after we provide some support and someone is found short of expectations, he should be shown the way out if he refuses to go. Because the lives of Nigerians are so precious and therefore must be more important than any other considerations or sentiments. I believe that today, the most essential thing in government is to address the security challenges.
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But I also had the opportunity to talk to my president and my leader about the challenges in the APC. I believe that we have to deal with these challenges, this is the ruling party of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with the president, with the control of the National Assembly, with more governors than any other political party, the situation should not, must not be allowed to degenerate further than it has. And I believe that must go into the constitution of our party and see how we are to address this but we must not allow this to continue as it is today. Because, the stability of APC is the stability of Nigeria, this is the party that is running the affairs of this country. So I believe that we have to sort this out and that will make our work even better and easier when we have a stable party. Because the party is supposed to be part of the apparatus of running government. We are supposed to run or operate or implement or execute the manifesto of the party. And therefore the party is so key, so central, so essential to ensuring that government whether on the executive or legislative side continues to face those issues in the manifesto and of course the manifesto will be to make Nigeria better.
So, I had the opportunity to discuss that with the president who is the leader of the party in Nigeria and by the grace of God in the next few days we will see certain actions will be taken and we are praying that all our leaders in the party across the country will make every possible effort to get the party reconciled.