The Senate President, David Mark, on Tuesday in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to declare full scale military operation against insurgents in the North East.
Mark made the call in an address to welcome senators back from Easter recess.
He said the heightened spate of terrorist attacks and killings carried out by insurgents in the North East amounted to a declaration of war against the country.
He noted that in view of the fact that the insurgents had rejected calls for dialogue, the government should embark on comprehensive military onslaught to stamp out the menace.
“There is no doubt that our nation is at war. The enemy has clearly and unequivocally served the nation notice of its vile intentions.
“It is obvious that we are dealing with insurgents and well-funded nihilists who are determined to violently trample upon the secularity of the Nigerian state and destroy the country.
“Therefore, a clear, unambiguous and decisive military response from the government, beyond the imposition of a state of emergency, is urgently required in this circumstance.
“The full might and strength of our security services must now be deployed to confront this scourge. And this must be done within the shortest possible time frame with minimal casualties,” he said.
Mark also urged the Federal Government to deploy all available resources to not only combat the forces of destruction, but also unmask and punish the sponsors of terrorist groups plundering the country.
He said the campaign would be realised when local communities and other sections of Nigerians gave adequate support to the armed forces in their quest to contain the insurgency.
He added that “our emphasis must, therefore, be on winning the hearts and minds of the communities in the immediate theatres of conflict.
“Government must do all it can to immediately identify the sponsors and the source of funds to the terrorists and the insurgents.
“In this connection, anybody who is implicated, no matter how highly placed, should not be treated as a sacred cow.’’
Mark pledged the determination of the National Assembly to sustain its partnership with all arms of government and Nigerians to bring insurgency to an end.
He warned politicians to desist from making statements capable of undermining the efforts of the members of the armed forces.
The Senate president said “we will activate and deploy every possible constitutional legislative instrument in aid of the war against terror.
“We must not quibble, nor speak along party lines. We must speak out as Nigerians and collectively, we must flash a powerful signal against terror.’’
He, however, noted that the door should be left open to any effort to employ dialogue as means of finding a lasting solution to terrorism and insurgency in the country. (NAN)
Source: Nigerian Gazette