Some of the captured terrorists being interrogated

Some of the captured terrorists being interrogated

NLC urges FG to step up action

Teddy Oscar, Abuja

Members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday literally wept for the 59 innocent students of the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State that were gruesomely murdered in their sleep, and subsequently declared ?a day of mourning? in their honour and those of other victims of violence in the country.

The lawmakers, who only returned from a two-week break to allow the various committees of the House conduct the 2014 budget defence of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government, however, adjourned till next Tuesday to allow more time for the budget defence to be concluded.

The event of the day commenced at 12:22 p.m. with Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, House leader, introducing the single item on the order of the day entitled ?special session of the House of Representatives?, which read: that this House do hold a special session to deliberate on the incessant killings and maiming of people and residents of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states by the Boko Haram.

In his address to remember the students and other victims of terrorism in Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, speaker, berated the terrorists for targeting innocent and defenceless Nigerians.

Describing the actions of the terrorists as cowardice, Tambuwal declared that the agents of terror, who murdered sleep on Tuesday, February 25, would no longer sleep.

?When innocent, harmless and defenceless women and children become the targets of these heartless murderous bandits; when the lives of sleeping children are so callously snuffed out, it becomes clear that these agents of terror have murdered sleep, and they henceforth deserve none.

?Whatever grievances the terrorists harbour against the government of Nigeria, Nigeria?s innocent children have nothing to do with it. Nigeria?s children bear no responsibility for either policy making or policy implementation in Nigeria. It is, therefore, an act of cowardice worthy of ringing condemnation to target the children, to strike at those who are not only innocent, but are also unable to strike back or defend themselves.

?There can be no reason, no justification and no acceptable excuse for this act of mindless brutality. Whatever message the terrorists set out to send to the Nigerian government has been drowned out by the cries for justice by the blood of these innocent martyrs. It is to remember these innocent children and other victims of violence in this country that the House has declared today ?a day of mourning? to express our collective outrage on these killings that have gone on for far too long,? Tambuwal said.

You would recall that about 59 students of the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi were murdered in their sleep on the night of Tuesday, February 25 in Yobe State.

Tambuwal lamented the dastard act, which coincided on the very day the House adjourned plenary to allow its committees conduct the 2014 budget defence.

?Nigeria suffered a horrendous terrorist attack that struck a fatal blow at the heart and soul of the Nigerian nation, and desecrated values that decent peoples of all nations hold dear. On that night, about 59 students of Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State were killed in the most heinous manner. Some of our future national leaders were mowed down in gruesome circumstances in their sleep. Some were shot dead, while many were burnt beyond recognition. That day was a day that will live in infamy in the history of this nation,? he lamented.

Citing Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution, which provides that the security and welfare of Nigerians is the primary purpose of government, the speaker charged the three arms of government to rise to occasion.

?In making this provision, the constitution places a duty on all of us here and everyone else entrusted with the mandate of governance and representation to place a high premium on the security of lives and property of Nigerians. By this parameter, the Nigerian government must rise to the occasion. And by government, I do not mean only the executive. We, in the legislature, are also part of government. And we cannot, therefore, merely join in the chorus of lamentations. Our duty is to act swiftly and decisively in the protection of the citizenry,? he added.

Recalling the steps taken by the House to combat terrorism since it manifested itself in the country, he said: ?we have passed over twenty resolutions on the issue of national security; we amended the Anti-terrorism Act, 2011 to strengthen the security agencies; we have appropriated huge sums of money for the security agencies. Only recently, January 30, 2014 the House, in making its recommendations for constitutional amendment, voted to include the National Security Agencies and the Nigerian Police on the first line charge for purpose of ensuring their financial independence and timely release of funds when appropriated.?

In a related development, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Federal Government to step up action to combat the menace of terrorism in the country.

The message, which is contained in a communiqu? of the emergency meeting of the central working committee (CWC) of the congress jointly signed by Abdulwahed Ibrahim Omar and Chris Uyot, president and acting general secretary, respectively, also condemned murder of the 59 students.

?The CWC condemned the murder of innocent school children in Yobe (State), and the unrelenting killings and brigandage in Borno State, and renewed its call on the government to save further loss of lives by devising an imaginative and enduring strategy that could curb the menace of Boko Haram,? the communiqu? read in part.

While accusing the government and oil marketers of conspiring to bring hardship on Nigerians by planning to increase the fuel price, NLC urged the government to put an end to nationwide fuel shortage.

?The CWC condemned the present nationwide fuel shortage, describing it as a cruel conspiracy between the government and the marketers to impose hardship and trauma on the poor and hapless Nigerians with a view to ostensibly increasing  fuel prices; any attempt to further engender hardship on the working people through increase in fuel  prices will be resisted by the labour movement.Accordingly, the CWC called on government to stop this subterfuge and  take all necessary action immediately to restore full and uninterrupted supply of petroleum products to consumers across the country,? it added.

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