Niger State House of Assembly has called on the State Government to expand the scope of the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to include Internal Security to ensure a swift response to security challenges in the State.
Earlier, during the plenary presided by the Speaker of the House, Bar. Bawa Wuse, a motion of urgent Importance was moved by Hon. Mohammed A. Haruna representing Bida 2 Constituency calling on the Executive to create a Ministry for Internal Security and Home Affairs.
Hon. Haruna explained that establishing the Ministry would enhance the capacity of the state government to coordinate and respond to issues of security such as banditry, kidnapping, and other criminalities in the state as obtained in some states like Kaduna.
” So that when there are incidences of insecurity, people will not be running helter-skelter. This Ministry will be given all that is needed to handle such issues,” he argued.
However, some of the members who took to the floor stated that instead of creating an additional Ministry, the activities of Ministry for LG could be expanded to include the proposed Ministry.
According to them, Internal Security should be made a department under the Ministry as setting up a new ministry now would increase the financial burden on the government given the current economic challenges facing the state and the nation at large.
They recalled that the same idea was once tabled before the House, but it was dropped due to the financial situation of the State.
After deliberating on the issue, the house unanimously resolved that Internal Security should be added to the Ministry for LG to widen its scope.
But speaking with journalists shortly after the house setting, Hon. Mohammed A. Haruna said the creation of a ministry to handle security challenge issues cannot be overemphasized.
According to him, ” it is no longer news that Niger state is one of the states in North West being ravaged by security challenges, such as banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, and other problems, so it has become expedient to come up with the motions to help in addressing all issues surrounding insecurity.”
On the position of the House on the matter, he said, ” I am not comfortable with it because nothing can be compared with the issue of security as it is now. Creating a ministry for internal security is not a bad idea and should not be pushed over because of cost.”