Amid public concerns over endless insecurity in the country, Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has absolved President Muhammadu Buhari of responsible for the menace.
Omo-Agege presided Tuesday plenary in the absence of the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan where he said the President’s request for adequate funding of security agencies was wholeheartedly approved by the parliament.
While ruling out Buhari’s culpability,, he opined that there might have been intelligence failure by the Office of the National Security Adviser to the President.
Omo-Agege’s assertion was on the backdrop of a motion sponsored by Senator Istifanus Gyang representing Plateau North Senatorial District on the attack on Jos Medium Security Custodial Centre last Sunday,
The motion was greeted with mixed feelings and lamentations from Senators over incessant attacks to the helplessness of security agents across the country.
Reacting to the incident, the Senate leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi called for an investigation of frequent attacks on Correctional Centres across the country.
He said: “The Minister of Interior and Controller General of Correctional Service including the Solicitor General of the Federation should carry out a thorough investigation of our Correctional Centres nationwide with a view to pointing out challenges of those centres in order to prevent further occurrence.
But Omo-Agege continued, saying, he was of the view that the Office of the NSA should be properly be funded to keep it at the forefront of gathering intelligence which should be passed to security agents for action.
He said: “Thank you very much. Before we proceed to observe a minute silence and having listened to all the comments and as Senator Rochas Okorocha rightly pointed out the security breach and the question becomes why are we having these challenges?
“Everything Mr President has requested from the National Assembly by way of funding have all been obliged. So the fault is not that of President Muhammadu Buhari, clearly.
“But whom much is given, much is expected and having given all these requisite funding to the security agents and we are still having these challenges, then we need to sleep over it.
“In the interim, it is clear that we are having intelligence security gaps and to say notwithstanding the request of Mr President which has been obliged by the National Assembly as regards funding of security agencies, I am thinking that the DSS and especially the Office of NSA which has the responsibility of gathering intelligence, I don’t think there have gotten funding required for this fight.
According to the DSP, the Office of NSA is underfunded, while he further advocated that a request be made before the 2022 budget is finally tabled for legislative debate.
“They are the ones in charge of intelligence gathering and I am only taking a position that the Office of the NSA is underfunded. He is supposed to be the one coordinating the intelligence and providing such intelligence to other agencies to be able to give us the requisite protection.
“But if the Office of the NSA is not properly funded, I think that we will all be in trouble. This is something we appeal to Mr President, even here in the National Assembly to look into the funding of the Office of NSA and possibly the DSS before the budget is finally tabled for consideration”, he noted.