The meeting was a follow-up of the Senate leadership marathon engagement with the service chiefs on August 3, 2022, being part of efforts to intensify the fight against major security issues facing the country and the dimension the challenges have taken in recent times.
Senator Lawan said, “Security, as appropriate for the 2021 and 2022 national budgets, would take the lion share of the 2023 budgets in terms of appropriation.
“You will recall that about four weeks ago, we had a meeting here and that meeting was to look into the security situation in the country then.
“Before we closed for our annual summer recess, Senators and, indeed, members of the National Assembly expressed so much concern with respect to the security situation prevailing and we felt we must engage our security agencies so that together, we will continue to fight these challenges in our country.
“I am happy and I’m sure I’m speaking the mind of my colleagues, that after that meeting, till today, we have seen remarkable difference in the fight against insecurity in our country by our Armed Forces and other security agencies and we are very proud of that.
“We pray that this continues because we have seen the initiative and it is for us to finish the job. When Mr President spoke of ensuring that we return to normalcy by December 2022, I’m sure he had in mind what you have been doing recently.
“I believe that you, our Armed Forces and other security agencies have everything in terms of morals and determination, even though we still have to give some other support. This meeting therefore is to review what has happened so far.
“While we fight the insecurity in the country, sometimes we capture bandits alive. Those who have made every effort to steal our oil at an industrial scale, I’m sure some of them may not be that lucky to escape,” the Senate President said in his remark.
He further suggested that Nigerians want to see trials of oil thieves and vandals arrested by the security agencies. This according to him would give Nigerians the confidence that nobody, no matter how high that person is, can go scot free when arrested.
Also in attendance were the Chief of Defence Staff, the three Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police, Directors-General of National Intelligence Agency(NIA), State Security Service(SSS) and Commandant General of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps while the Acting Comptroller General of the Immigration Service was represented.
The meeting was attended by the Chief of Defence Staff, the three Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police, Directors-General of National Intelligence Agency(NIA), State Security Service(SSS) and Commandant General of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps while the Acting Comptroller General of the Immigration Service was represented.
It was also attended by Senator Ovie Omo- Agege, Deputy President of the Senate,, APC, Delta Central; the Senate Leader, Senator Ibrahim Gobir; the Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and the Deputy Senate Leader Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice in attendance.
Others were the Deputy Whip of the Senate, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi; the Minority Whip, Senator Chukwuka Utazi; Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Senator Thompson Sekibo; Chairman, Senate Committee on Air Force, Senator Bala Ibn Na’ Allah etc, among others.