The Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Represen-tative yesterday stepped down a motion raised by Honourable John Halims Agoda (PDP Delta seeking the stoppage of the current military operation launched against militants in Warri South- West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Thisday ewspaper reports that the motion which came under matters of urgent public importance was stalled when a member raised a point of order and moved that the motion be stood down because of the implications it might have on national security.
An attempt by the Chairman House Committee on Airforce, Honourable John Halims Agoda (PDP Delta) to formally table the motion on the issue on the floor of the House was frustrated. Agoda had taken the floor based on Order 8 Rule 4 of the House Proceedings and canvassed the need for the Federal Government to halt the JTF to allow the Legislature and the Executive look into the conflict and proffer amicable solutions.
According to Agoda, what was required was to halt the military offensive and to tackle the humanitarian crisis. He prayed the House to prevail on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently send relief material including beddings, food and medicine to the thousands of persons displaced from the crisis zone.
There was disquiet in the chambers as soon as the motion got to its climax. Honourable Chile Igbawua (PDP Benue ) raised an objection on the motion, explaining that taking on the debate on the floor without considering its implications on national security would be wrong.
Deputy Speaker, Usman Nafada then advised Agoda to step down the motion to allow for wider consultations.
Also yesterday, the Delta Caucus in the House of Representatives alleged that the military offensive had turned to genocide and urged the Federal Government to halt any further military action in the area and kick-start the processes that would bring sustainable peace.
The troops of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) launched the attacks in the creeks and riverine communities of Delta State last week to flush out some militant groups said to be inhabiting a location identified as “Camp Five” in the area. The clash between the military and soldiers was ignited by the alleged killing of some security operatives by the militants.
The Caucus, at a news conference yesterday prevailed on President Yar Adua to stop the troops from further bombardment of the communities, stressing that in the course of the clash between the military and militants operating in the creeks, thousands of innocent and law abiding citizens of Delta State had been displaced from their homes.
Chairman of the Caucus, Honourable Nicholas Mutu (PDP Delta) who addressed the news conference noted that while the lawmakers do not endorse the activities of the militants, the Federal Government should consider the pains and humanitarian crisis unfolding in the area since the military launched the operation.
Mutu who represents the Bomadi Federal Constituency of Delta State was joined at the media interaction by Honourable Leo Ogor (Isoko Federal Constituency), Honourable Charles Onyekweli (Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency), Honourable Doris Uboh(Ika Federal Constituency) and Honourable Tamuno Brisibe of Patani/Burutu Federal Constituency.