Reps Reject Use Of Mercenaries To End Security Challenges

The Nigerian House of Representative In a Session

House of Representatives has stepped down an amendment to a motion seeking foreign intervention to address Nigeria’s insecurity issues.

The lawmakers declined an amendment proposed by Hon. Ahmed Jaha (APC, Borno), which called for the invitation of foreign mercenaries to assist in combating the issue.

Jaha stated that despite ongoing efforts by security agencies over the years, results have been insufficient, hence the need for Nigeria to engage foreign contractors to assist in combating insecurity across the country.

“During the period of insecurity in the northeast between 2020, there was no significant hunger in the country. However, when the bandits realized their actions were causing more hunger than insecurity, they expanded their operations to the southeast and southwest.

“Given the insurgency we’re grappling with, it’s prudent to seek assistance from other nations. Nigeria lacks the power and influence of countries like Ukraine and Russia. Bringing in machinery to tackle insecurity is essential to prevent a worsening hunger crisis next year. The current strategy of targeting farmers is crippling agricultural productivity. While we appreciate the efforts of our security agencies, additional support is urgently needed.”

But, Hon. Abbas Adigun, member representing Ibadan North East/South East Federal Constituency of Oyo State, strongly opposed the suggestion of employing foreign mercenaries, stating that it would be a source of embarrassment for the nation.

“We must prioritize bolstering our security agencies’ capacity and ensuring their personnel’s welfare. When they bravely venture into the field, there’s a stark reality: a 50% chance they won’t return. We must also consider the welfare of their families left behind.

“We’re sorely lacking the modern equipment needed to confront insurgents effectively. Despite discussing security measures in the 9th Assembly, no tangible actions have been taken. That’s why I’ve chosen not to attend any security meetings in this assembly.

“Requesting another nation to supply us with machinery is a slight to our stature as a leading African nation. We possess the capability within our security agencies, augmented by the expertise of retired service chiefs, to undertake such tasks internally.

“Many of Nigeria’s security challenges stem from its poorest and least educated regions. These issues are the fruit of seeds planted long ago. Nigeria must prioritize investments in education and alternative livelihoods over criminal activities,” he said.

Other lawmakers also followed his argument, dropping the amendment while the motion was adopted with other prayers.

Adopting the motion, the House decided to meet with the President to find solutions to the insecurity challenges. It urged police authorities to appropriate funds to repair damaged security assets nationwide.

The motion’s mover, Abdullahi Dabai from Katsina State, lamented that the people of his constituency are living in a state of fear owing to constant attacks by bandits.

“Families have lost their loved ones, their means of livelihood, and their homes. The psychological trauma inflicted on the survivors, particularly those who have lost family members or witnessed the destruction, cannot be overstated. The kidnappings have further exacerbated the situation, with families anxiously awaiting the return of their loved ones,” he said.

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