Insecurity: Reps reject motion to engage mercenaries

 30th May 2024


Members of the House of Representatives, yesterday, kicked against a motion calling on the Federal Government to engage mercenaries in the fight against insecurity in the country.

The lawmakers, who were contributing to the proposal made by Ahmed Jaha, as an amendment to a motion on banditry in parts of Katsina State, said engaging mercenaries might be counterproductive.

Jaha had argued that since the security challenges in the country were still lingering, despite the efforts of security agencies, it was time the government engaged mercenaries like it did during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

“Since you are facing insurgency, there is nothing wrong in inviting other countries to our aid. Nigeria is not as powerful and influential as Ukraine or Russia. There is nothing wrong in bringing in mercenaries to clear our land of insecurity, if not, the hunger we faced this year will be worse next year. Their strategy now is to attack farmers and prevent them from going to their farm lands.

“We commend our security agencies; they have done well, but we need help. We deserve to know the truth, so that we know what to relay to our constituents.”

However, the immediate past deputy speaker, Idris Wase, said the issue of whether or not the government should engage mercenaries was not something that could be discussed publicly.

Wase noted that all over the world, no parliament discusses sensitive security issues in the open.

Similarly, Abbas Adigun, said it would be insensitive for the Nigerian government to be engaging mercenaries to fight insecurity in the country.

“Asking another country to send us mercenaries is an insult to the giant of Africa that we are. Our security agencies can work with retired service chiefs to get this work done. We need to increase the capacity of our security agencies. We need to look into the welfare of our security agencies. When they go out, there is a 50 percent chance that they won’t come back, so what happened to their families?

“They need modern equipment to face the insurgents. Do we have all they need to effectively fight them? No. In the 9th Assembly, all we discussed about security, none was done and that is why I don’t attend any security meeting in this assembly,” he said.

The Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, who presided, after listening to the various contributions on the motion, implored Jaha to step it down.  Consequently, the lawmaker applied to step down the motion, expressing hope that the issue would be discussed in an executive session.

Nevertheless, the House resolved that its leadership would meet with President  Tinubu to discuss issues surrounding the spate of insecurity in the country. It also urged the government to rebuild security infrastructure destroyed by insurgents.


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