The Upper Legislative Chamber in a bid to check the rising incidences of suicide across the country, the killing of nine Nigerian Migrants in Libya and the increasing tide of Cyber-attacks and other criminality as well as the recurring loss of lives due to boat mishaps and the growing trend of Sexual Harassment has on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 deliberated and passed five Motions.
The first Motion considered and passed was titled “Rising Incidence of suicides among Nigerians”, sponsored by Sen. Theodore A. Orji (Abia Central) and 15 others.
The Senate noted with grave concern the rising cases of suicide particularly among Nigerian Youths in recent times. In fact a significant number of people with suicidal intentions keep their thoughts and feelings as a secret and show no sign that anything is wrong, if they do not have anyone to confide in. The Motion scaled through with five resolutions among which were:
i) Urge the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Information, National Orientation Agency and Ministry of Health to urgently create awareness on how to control stress and depression and establish trauma centres across the Federation.
ii) Urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to ban the production, importation or circulation of snipers insecticide, a product used to commit suicide.
iii) Urge the Federal Government through the National University Commission (NUC) to review the school curriculum and come up with compulsory courses that will enable students place value on their lives and detest suicide.
While the second Motion passed was titled “The Death of Nine (9) Nigerian Migrants in Libya”, sponsored by Sen. Barau Jibrin (Kano North) and 36 others.
The Senate noted with grief the killing of nine Nigerian citizens in a double air strike on a detention centre outside Tripoli, the capital of Libya. The Motion sailed through with six prayers among which were:
i) Observe a minute silence in honour of the victims.
ii) Condemn the air strike in its entirety.
iii) Call on the United Nations to investigate and find out the perpetrators of this dastardly act with a view to bringing them to justice.
iv) Urge the Libyan Government to urgently release the refugees and migrants from detention centres, for relocation to safe shelter.
The third Motion considered and passed was titled “Disturbing Dimension of Cyber Attacks and Criminality: Urgent Need to Re-strategize Approaches”, sponsored by Sen. Buhari Abdulfatah (Oyo North) and 13 Co-sponsors.
According to Sen. Abdulfatah, the Red Chamber noted that the positive posture of Information Communication Technology (ICT) revolution is being dampened by malicious activities of criminal elements in the Nigerian society which invade the Cyber space thereby presenting risk to businesses, national economies and security, such as identity theft, electronic fraud, data damage or alteration and espionage etc. The Motion was passed with two resolutions below:
i) Urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to continue to engage relevant stakeholders with a view to stimulating a collective reflection among them and articulate a national and broad based approach to keeping the country ahead of the Cyber challenges.
ii) Urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to as a matter of urgency establish a Cyber Security Agency to take appropriate care of Nigeria Cyberspace.
Also, the fourth Motion debated and passed was captioned “Urgent Need to look into the incessant loss of commuters’ lives on the nation’s water ways” sponsored by Sen. Adedayo Adeyeye (Ekiti South) and 3 others.
The Senate confirmed that water transportation is a means that Nigeria needs to harness as a country because of its huge potentials, with 8, 600 kilometers of inland waterways and extensive coastland of about 582 kilometers which make the country, the second largest waterway in Africa.
The Senate is more disturbed that boat mishaps have become more rampant in the country than ever before. Data from Nigeria Watch shows that 1, 607 lives were lost in 180 boat accidents between June 2006 and May 2015 while from 2016 to date 108 persons lost their lives in four accidents. The Motion sailed through with five resolutions among which were:
i) Urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to give greater priority to water transportation in Nigeria and make it more competitive.
ii) Urge Federal Government of Nigeria to embark on policy reforms and restructuring with a view to improving the regulatory and enforcement capacity of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
Point of Order 42 and 52 moved by Sen. Rose Okoh (Cross River North) drew the attention of the Senate over the growing trend of Sexual Harassment in Nigeria. She lamented over the increasing tide of rape in the society with infants, underage and adults being victims. The Motion was passed with three resolutions below:
i) Urge the Senate to direct its Committee on Judiciary and Police Affairs when constituted to interface with relevant stakeholders so as to tackle the matter.
ii) Direct the above mentioned Committees when constituted to review the relevant laws with a view to providing stiffer penalties against offenders.
iii) Urge the Police to conduct a mandatory training of officers and men to handle rape cases against babies, minors amongst other victims.