The principal officer of the House, Mohammed Monguno (APC, Borno), the Chief Whip, said any government that cannot protect lives and properties should not last longer than necessary.
“Any government that fails or neglects to secure the lives and properties of the citizens, that government is not supposed to last longer than absolutely necessary. Because that is the primacy of governance,” he said.
Terrorism as cash cow for military
Ahmadu Jaha (APC, Borno), who represents Damboa/Gwazo/Chibok federal constituency, an area ravaged by terrorists, accused the military of intentionally prolonging the fight against insurgents and bandits due to financial reasons.
Mr Jaha argued that as long as the country continues to pump money into defence, the military will continue to see the fight against terrorists as “cash cow.”
“In 2021 we budgeted N460 billion for the Nigerian Army alone, only N29 billion was for capital expenditure, the remaining was for recurrent expenditure. In 2022, we budgeted N571 billion for the Nigerian Army alone, only N37 billion is capital expenditure, the remaining were recurrent expenditures.
“Mr Speaker, the truth of the matter is security in Nigeria has become a cash cow business. I am not willing to go without taking my own and he is not willing to go with taking his own and the other person is not willing to leave until he gets his own.
“It just like a medical doctor putting professionalism aside. You presented a patient, as a patient’s relative you say okay every month I’ll give you N100 million until when the patient recovers or otherwise. The doctor will make sure that the patient does not die and will continue to maintain that he does not recover because he will keep collecting the money. It is a simple analysis every person can understand.
“Mr Speaker, it is a cash cow business, they don’t want it (insecurity) to finish. Because they will realize that everybody’s attention was diverted towards the North-east. Okay, let them release North-east to some extent and go to North-west after North-west they move to South-west. Before you realize what is happening, the whole country is gutted with security challenges.”
Mr Jaha also accused a lawmaker of writing a commendation letter to one of the service chiefs, that he is doing good. Although Mr Jaha did not disclose the name of the lawmaker, he, however, said “he will deal with the lawmaker and scandalise the lawmaker”.
At this point, the Presiding officer, Deputy Speaker Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), cautioned Mr Jaha for using strong words on the floor of the House. Consequently, Mr Jaha withdrew the statement.
Also contributing to the motion, Dahung Bagos (PDP, Plateau), asked for the suspension of allocation of money to the defence sector which he said gets the allocations “without anything to show for it.”
Incompetent security committee chairman
While the debate was going on, the deputy speaker called out the Chairman House Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Shaaban Sharada (APC, Kano), accusing him of failing to do his job.
Mr Wase said the Committee on National Security and Intelligence is yet to submit a single report to the House, despite several referrals to the committee.
“I don’t know one report that has been turned in by the Committee on National Security and Intelligence, I don’t know,” he said.
Corroborating the alleged inefficiency of Mr Sharada, the Chief Whip of the House, said his bill was the first to be considered by the 9th House, yet Mr Sharada failed to deliver the report until the committee was discharged of that responsibility.
“With regard to the committee, I can also recall that the first bill that was passed for second reading is my bill, which is the bill on small arms and light weapons. That bill was referred to the national security committee, but up till now, there is no report up to the extent that had to go and appeal to Mr Speaker, which he had to set up an ad hoc committee. That is the extent the committee has not performed,” he said.
Mr Sharada is a first-time lawmaker without any prior experience in intelligence or security, but served as media aide to Mr Buhari. He was elected into the House in 2019.
Following the debate, the House resolved that the Inspector General of Police, Usman Akali, deploys personnel to the region.
In addition, the government was directed to establish IDP camps in Kaduna State.
After the motion was put to vote, Mr Wase said the House should suspend all items on the order paper and adjourn plenary.