‘Abuja is Not Safe, Stay Away,’ Nigerian Minority Leader Lawmaker Tells Colleagues

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The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, has urged his colleagues to stay away from Abuja during their long holiday due to the security situation.

Mr Elumelu stated this Wednesday after the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, announced that the House will adjourn till September 20.

“I want to beg members, Abuja is no longer safe, please, if possible, go back to your constituency. The place is so insecure,” he said.

Mr Elumelu’s comment is coming at a time many residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are living in fear over a spike in insecurity.

Recently, the government directed the shutdown of all unity schools in the FCT, while gunmen on Friday attacked some officials of the 7 Guards Battalion of the Nigerian Army Presidential Guards Brigade. Bellnews Online reported how eight soldiers including two officers were killed in the attack.

Also, in early July, terrorists launched a daring attack on a prison in Kuje, Abuja, releasing hundreds of prisoners, including Boko Haram members.

Don’t play politics with insecurity – Wase
In his reaction to Mr Elumelu’s remark, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Idris Wase, who presided over the plenary, cautioned the minority leader against politicizing insecurity.

He stated that such comments could drive away investors from the country.

“Security is everybody’s business and we should not play politics with security. I want to beg of us that we all need to come together, work together and think in a manner that we can work together to sort our issues.

“I believe the minority leader, maybe was putting some jokes but I do not believe that it was a joke on the security in the lives and property of the people and by the grace of God Abuja is going to be secured.

“I do not think we should scare investors who are coming into the country, I do not believe that we should scare people who could come to add value to us,” he said.

Before the lawmakers commenced their recess, Mr Elumelu announced that lawmakers from opposition parties in the House will meet with their counterparts in the Senate on Thursday.

Although he did not state the agenda of the meeting, it is believed to be in relation to the walkout staged by minority senators earlier on Wednesday.

Bellnews Online reported that senators who are members of opposition parties walked out of the Senate chamber after the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, shot down a motion on insecurity and possible impeachment of Mr Buhari.

One of the aggrieved senators, Philip Aduda (PDP-Abuja), said the senate had agreed at a closed-door session to give President Muhammadu Buhari six weeks to review the security situation in Nigeria or face impeachment.

The opposition lawmakers said they wanted the matter to be discussed at plenary, which Mr Lawan disallowed.

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