We are trapped in Abuja, terror attacks threatening our re-election bid, Senators, Reps cry out

We are trapped in Abuja, terror attacks threatening our re-election bid, Senators, Reps cry out

Lawmakers from the two Chambers of the National Assembly have decried the worsening security situation in Nigeria, saying the fear of being attacked, kidnapped or killed has confined them to Abuja and away from their respective senatorial districts and constituencies.

Some of the lawmakers, according to Daily Sun, stressed that the worrisome state of attacks in the country is drastically affecting their 2023 re-election bid.

It will be recalled that Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, had urged his colleagues to stay away from Abuja during their long holiday as the place was no longer safe.

“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.

But with the fear of being attacking pervading the entire seat of power, Elumelu’s plea has reportedly created a dilemma for the senators.

One of them, who pleaded not to be named, said with the implementation of the new Electoral Act, it would be impossible for the 2023 elections to be rigged.

He said those seeking elective positions required secured and safe environment to campaign and solicit for votes.

The lawmaker, however, lamented that a level-playing field was being hampered by the spate of attacks by terrorists, bandits and other violent criminals ravaging the country.

“It is becoming impossible for us to visit our states, villages and constituencies. We are trapped in Abuja; movements for meetings and grassroots mobilisation for our re-election bids has been severely threatened by insecurity,” said the senator.

He listed the South East, Niger, Katsina, Zamfara, and Kaduna, as states where politicians are scared of visiting.

In the various states, Houses of Assembly lawmakers are also scared of leaving their state capitals for their constituencies for fear of gunmen.

A senator from North Central, who secured the ticket of his party, said terrorists have threatened to abduct lawmakers during campaigns, especially in the North.

He said with the military and police overstretched, it would be difficult for many politicians to get security to provide cover for their campaigns.

He warned that if something urgent is not done to curtail the spread of terror and fear, campaigns ahead of the general elections next year may be impossible.

“Even with the adjournment of plenary until September, many senators, who hitherto would have rushed to their villages, are trapped in Abuja over fear of being abducted. We adjourned last week. Ordinarily, I ought to have been in my village; but I can’t do that. First, I’ll have to drive to my village because the distance between the available airport and my town is about three hours. That alone is dangerous.

“My state is one of the most affected. It wilthbe easy to pick me up. In the South East, unknown gunmen have taken over the security of the entire geopolitical zone. Senators can’t boldly go home and campaign. Their lives are in danger. The only geopolitical zone that appears to be safe right now, is the South South. Remove Edo State from that list. A few states in the South West are safe. Beside that, no state is safe,” he added.

Meanwhile, investigations by the Daily Sun revealed that some senators and top politicians in Abuja have abandoned their flashy cars and have settled for regular vehicles, while others now come to the National Assembly in executive cabs for fear of being identified and attacked.

It was observed last week that over 15 senators, who until recently, came to the National Assembly in convoys, were ferried to the complex in regular commercial cabs, devoid of noise and razzmatazz.

One of the lawmakers from the South East was sighted coming into the Senate chamber last Wednesday in a Toyota Corolla operated by a Bolt driver.

It was also observed that former governors who are senators, have resorted to the use of bulletproof vehicles. They have equally discarded the use of security vehicles and convoys, which for years, had remained their hallmark whenever they come to the National Assembly.

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