“Nigeria is on fire”: Concerned lawmakers demand Buhari’s action on security crisis

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    Nigeria’s parliament called on the presidency, armed forces and police to address the country’s mounting security crisis on Tuesday, with the lower house urging President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency.

    The resolutions come as a wave of violence and lawlessness sweeps across Africa’s largest economy. Security forces, including the military deployed across most of Nigeria’s states, have shown little ability to stem the tide.

    “The president should immediately declare a state of emergency on security so as to fast track all measures to ensure the restoration of peace in the country,” said a resolution passed by the lower house.

    In the northwest, gunmen have kidnapped more than 700 schoolchildren since December, as militants pillage communities in the region. read more

    In the northeast, the armed forces are still struggling in a 12-year war with Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa branch. On Sunday, more than 30 soldiers died in an attack, soldiers and a resident said.

    “The nation is on fire,” said Smart Adeyemi, a senator in Buhari’s ruling party. “The president must rise to the occasion and bring in people to save this country or else we will be consumed. We cannot keep quiet any longer.”

    The senate upper house called for “massive recruitment” for the military and police and procurement of new equipment for security forces.

    Meanwhile, the senate also resolved for its leadership to meet Buhari to discuss the insecurity, and invite Nigeria’s army chief and other commanders and intelligence chiefs to speak on the matter.

    The military did not immediately respond to calls and messages seeking comment. A presidency spokesman declined to comment.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Rivers state, in Nigeria’s oil-producing heartland, said it will ban people crossing its borders at night due to insecurity.

    Rivers lies in Nigeria’s oil-producing heartland, the Niger Delta, where past unrest has crippled crude production as militants destroyed and raided facilities, sending Africa’s largest economy into a tailspin.

    The ban on people entering or leaving Rivers between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. will take effect from April 28 until further notice, Governor Nyesom Wike said in a statement.

    Wike cited the killings of police, customs and civil defence officers on Saturday and of army soldiers on Sunday to justify the curfew.

    “The attackers and their sponsors are people who came from outside Rivers state, and as a government we are determined to do everything within our powers to prevent the recurrence of such senseless and murderous acts,” he said.

    Insecurity has mounted across Nigeria. In the northwest, gunmen have kidnapped more than 700 school children since December, part of a broader breakdown of law and order that has seen militants looting and pillaging communities in the region. read more

    In the northeast, the armed forces are still struggling in a 12-year war with Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa branch. On Sunday, more than 30 soldiers died in one militant attack, soldiers and a resident said.

    Earlier on Wednesday, the United States consulate in Lagos warned of increased crime in the city.