Senators Mohammed Enagi (APC-Niger South), Sani Musa (APC-Niger East), and Aliu Sabi Aliu (APC-Niger North) described as unacceptable, the worsening state of insecurity in Niger State and Nigeria in general.
But a spokesman for Niger State Muhammad Sani Idris said about 650 students were in the school when it was attacked.
Before the debate began, the Senate leadership had warned lawmakers against resorting to politics and political gimmicks during deliberations.
Consequently, all lawmakers who participated in the debate were from the APC as none from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spoke.
The visibly angry lawmaker further noted that the government had been evasive on issues that ought to be given attention.
Enagi suggested the amendment of laws that would allow governors who are chief security officers of their respective states to take charge, insisting that the government at the centre has failed woefully.
He added that citizens might need to be allowed to bear arms through the amendment of laws if the situation persists.
“I’m sorry to say this, the government is grossly incompetent in the handling of security challenges in this country,” Enagi said.
“In my own zone, few days ago, terrorists went to two local governments, but fortunately, my people were able to repel and killed 9 of them and in short everybody that is here has a story to tell about security challenges in this country.
“What else are we supposed to do that we are not doing? Are supposed to amend laws in this country to give every citizen the opportunity to carry arms? What else are supposed to do?
“Shouldn’t we amend Nigeria Constitution to give more powers to the governors who are the Chief Security Officers of their various States because, our government at the centre is so incompetent in the handling of security issues.” Enagi queried.
According to the senator, the situation with the parents of the kidnapped students is best imagined “if it is one of us that his or her daughter and son were kidnapped. I expect everyone in government to think like that.”
He lamented that “For over two years, our Police and other security agents have been trying and for over two years, we discuss security challenges that we are facing, yet nothing has improved.
“We have a lot of youths who are undergraduates that are not employed or under-employed. What are we doing, the government is busy distributing palliative instead of creating economic activities that will engage the unemployed that will generate employment; that will improve the welfare of our people.
“Mr. President, my highly respected distinguished colleagues, the situation in this country is disheartening and something need to be done.” Enagi submitted.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, halted the debate after Enagi declaring that the kidnap of the students was unfortunate.
Lawan said the security agencies had challenges with personnel and funds.
“Abduction of students from school happen in the northern part of Nigeria,” the senate president said, adding that”With incidences like this, parents would be scared to take their wards to school and the efforts of the past as present leaders at providing education would be defeated.”
Also, Senator Aliu, expressed dissatisfaction that the Federal Government has been unable to ensure the release of some 57 travellers kidnapped last Sunday within Niger State.
He called for more decisive action from security agencies to get the kidnapped persons released.
Sabi cautioned Federal Government to take extraordinary measures to halt the spate of insecurity which he feared could spread to the Federal Capital Territory.
The Senate urged the President to as a matter of urgency declare the state of emergency on insecurity in Nigeria.
It also urged Buhari to consider and implement “the recommendations of the Senate ad-Hoc Committee on Nigeria’s Security Challenges dated March 17, 2020 and Senate Resolutions therefrom, as a holistic response to the mounting security challenges across the country”
The Senate sought a massive and combined operation to identify and destroy the camps and hideouts of these criminals wherever they may be situated.