THE Senate, on Tuesday, asked the Federal Government to declare full scale war on the Boko Haram insurgents, whose activities have threatened the peace of north-eastern states.
This was contained in a two-point resolution by the lawmakers, upon the adoption of a motion moved by the Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba.
The motion, entitled: “Threat to national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria by insurgents,” which was supported by 107 senators, urged the Federal Government to declare full scale war on the insurgents.
According to the lawmakers, activities of the insurgents amounted to a full declaration of war on the Nigerian state.
They added that the Federal Government must confront them frontally and bring perpetrators to justice.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who seconded the motion, told the plenary of the urgency of the situation, adding that there may not be elections in Nigeria in 2015 if the activities of Boko Haram persist.
“We must make no mistake about this; if we don’t secure the North-East, there may not be elections in 2015. If anyone thinks because he is from Lagos, Enugu and it doesn’t concern him, that person is mistaken…Democracy isn’t working in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states. We must take a firm stand now…”
However, Senator Alli Ndume, who represents Borno South, including Gwoza and Dambua towns, the most affected areas of the state, said activities of the insurgents had continued unabated.
He said that the insurgents had continued to raid settlements, including Gwoza and Dambua, adding that “the challenges we are facing are more serious than what we have faced before. We, the people of Southern Borno, particularly Gwoza, parts of Adamawa and Yobe, know that it’s currently occupied.
“I read here on the Senate Order Paper about a threat. It’s no longer a threat; somebody is occupying that place and he’s declared it a caliphate!
“Yesterday (Monday), a new emir was installed by Boko Haram in Dambua. The original emir is taking refuge in Abuja. Boko Haram installed a new emir in Gwoza…Recently, we conceded the extension of state of emergency and it was because it could get out of hand. Can it get out of hand more than what is happening now?”
The Senate also asked the leadership of the chamber, as well as the committee on national security and intelligence, as well as senators from the affected states, to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan on the way forward.
While ruling on the motion, Senate President David Mark said Nigeria must quickly take action against the insurgents.
“When Boko Haram moved from kidnapping, killing of people and destruction of property to occupation of parts of Nigerian territory, it has declared a total war in Nigeria.
“There is no difference between what Boko Haram is doing against Nigeria and what an enemy country waging war in Nigeria would have done.”
“The issue is beyond that of mere internal security. It is about how we execute the war. If Boko Haram has captured most of the parts of the country we represent and has created a caliphate, it means that some of the senators from those areas can no longer be in this chamber. This is why we must pay urgent attention to the matter,” he said.
He declared that the country was in a state of war, adding that activities of insurgents could affect the 2015 elections.
“There is no question of election, it is not even on the table now. We are in a state of war. All of us cannot carry gun to fight, but we all have roles to play in bringing the situation to an end,” he said.