By Yemi Itodo
The Senate Committee on Interior, on Tuesday said the nation would not continue to fold hands and allow insecurity to gain grounds, on account of shortage of personnel.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator shetima Kazim, said the total number of security personnel, military, paramilitary and law enforcement agents in Nigeria was less than five hundred thousand (500,000).
Reacting to the position of the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Mr. Dayo Apata on the Bill for an Act to establish Hunters’ Council of Nigeria, a Bill for an Act to establish Nigerian Peace Corps and a Bill for an Act to establish National Unity Corps; Senator Kazim said there was need to take the security of the citizenry seriously, saying the Senate would “dance around” the suggestions of Mr. Akpata, to ensure the Bills are passed and assented to.
“In the face of insecurity and banditry, the Bills become expedient to further strengthen the existing security architecture and to provide gainful employments to the teeming youth. When I was the Governor of Borno State, I signed into law, a Bill for an Act to establish Civilian Joint Task Force.
“Egypt has a population of about 100 million people but there are 2 million security personnel. In Nigeria where we have about 200 million people, the security personnel, both the Police, Army, Immigration, etc are not up to 500 thousand.
“By the year 2050, Nigeria would be the most populous Black nation in the whole world. By 2050, Nigeria would be 450 million in population”, Kazim said, stressing that the Bills were necessary and would address the current issues of insecurity and unemployment.
He added that, “the essence of governance is to provide security for the lives and property of the citizenry”.
Though the Hunters Bill, being sponsored by Senator Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti South) is a fresh Bill, the Bill for National Unity Corps was introduced in the sixth, seventh and eighth National Assembly but was rejected.
The Nigerian Peace Corps Bill is currently being sponsored by Senator Ali Ndume as a regazetted Bill, as President Muhammad Buhari denied assent after its passage in the 8th Assembly.
Speaking with Journalists recently, Ndume assured Nigerians that the reintroduced Nigerian Peace Corps Bill, which is to give legal backing to the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria under Professor Dickson Akoh, would be assented to by President Buhari as issues raised in the first Bill had been addressed.