Sanni Onogu, Abuja
The Senate, on Wednesday, summoned the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, over what it described as the inability of the Ministry to stop the use of mobile phones to negotiate ransom payment by kidnappers in the country.
The Senate said that Patami would appear before its Committees on Legislative Compliance and Communications on the need for him to implement resolutions of the upper chamber on how to curb insecurity in the country which are related to the mandate of the ministry of communication.
This resolution of the upper chamber followed the consideration of a motion on the growing insecurity in the country sponsored by Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South).
Rising under Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Rules, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South), noted that “the rate of insecurity in Nigeria has not only increased astronomically but has reached a melting point.”
According to the lawmaker, the challenge has manifested in the kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, assassination, and other criminal activity in the country.
“The assassination of Nasarawa State APC Chairman and other high profile cases are still fresh in our memories.
“A Chinese National was recently abducted in my community, his whereabouts is still unknown,” Bwacha said.
He further expressed worry that “there is growing suspicion of the complicity of officials of state saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property of the citizens, but have compromised in the process.
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“This is heightened by the arrest of several security operatives involved in armed robbery and kidnapping activities across the country.
“It is only in Nigeria that communication facilities can be used without a biometric process, no valid identification of passport details (in the case of foreigners) in place to check abuse.”
He expressed worry that “bandits and terrorists negotiate for ransom using telephones and getting away with it.
“How can we be so negligent and insensitive to the safety and security of citizens?”
“Senate is concerned that the confidence between the protected and the protector is being increasingly eroded resulting in the breakdown of law and order as demonstrated in the #EndSARS protest which was subsequently hijacked by miscreants.
“Further notes that political permutations across the landscape is attracting politicians to recruit criminals for the purpose of destabilizing the corporate existence of Nigeria.
“These evil intents can be easily achieved given the poor control over communication facilities, viz inability of our security apparatus and service providers to effectively manage this all-important sector,” Bwacha said.
Senators in their contributions supported the motion.