Reps probe killing of 44 soldiers
The report of the killing of some 44 soldiers by insurgents at Metele village in Guzamala local government in Borno has continued to generate interest as the House of Representatives decided to probe the incident.
The House has set up an ad-hoc committee to unravel the lapses that led to the death of the soldiers.
The committee was set up after the lawmakers deliberated on a motion of urgent public importance during Tuesday’s at the National Assembly in Abuja.
Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Chukwuka Onyema, sponsored the motion one week after the Senate deliberated on the attack by Boko Haram insurgents on a battalion of Nigerian soldiers in Metele.
In his words, Onyema said, “The house also notes that the initial figures of casualty were put at 44.
“But as more details emerge, it is now confirmed that 118 soldiers and officers were killed together with their commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ibrahim Sakaba, while about 150 more soldiers and officers are still missing.”
In their various contributions, lawmakers from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) put their political affiliations aside and discussed who should be held responsible.
An APC member from Plateau State, Edward Pwajok, called for the replacement of the service chiefs, stressing that the killing of the soldiers in the line of duty was condemnable.
“Whatever pressure you put on this service chiefs, I do not think that anything good can come out of them,” Pwajok said.
“Why can they not be changed? Is there a pact between them and the Commander-in-Chief? Mr Speaker, this is intolerable.”
Aliyu Magaji from Jigawa State was on the same page with his Plateau counterpart as he alleged that the service chiefs have failed to live up to their responsibilities and must, therefore, resign their various positions.
A PDP lawmaker from Sokoto State Abdulsamad Dasuki, on his part, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of failing the people.
On the way forward, the House Committee Chairman on Intelligence, Sani Aminu, called for better equipment for the soldiers in the fight against insurgency.
His colleague from Abia State Nnenna Elendu-Ujeke called for adequate air support for ground troops and asked the Federal Government to take a cue from other countries that have overcome similar challenges.
The House Committee Chairman on Army, Rimamnde Kwewum, on his part, said, “There is a need for the security agencies to account for the $1billion that they took.”
“There is a need for us to continuously know how much or how the resources they have been given are being applied,” Kwewum informed told his colleagues.
Other lawmakers who contributed to the motion faulted the different committees of the House whose mandate was to oversight the military.
The House, thereafter, resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the attack on the soldiers.
It also directed the committee to probe how all the funds appropriated for the fight against insurgency have been utilised.
The lawmakers urged the Nigerian Army High Command to release the names of the soldiers who lost their lives in the attack, after due consultation with their families.
However, no timeline was set for the ad-hoc committee to submit its report.