National Assembly Complex
The Senate Thursday ordered the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to halt the increasing state of insecurity due to armed banditry and criminal activities, especially in the northern parts of the country, which have resulted in the loss of lives and property.
The call came followed a resolution during plenary that the IG should as a matter of urgency step up surveillance and effective policing in the country.
A motion brought before the upper legislative chamber by Senator Marafa Garba, said the increasing wave of armed banditry and attacks in the North have resulted in the death of over 250 villagers.
He said: “Between August 2011 and October, over 250 villagers within the neighbouring zone have been brutally murdered, villagers sacked, treasures looted, farmlands and produce destroyed with attendant loss of properties running into millions of naira through callous activities of armed bandits.”
Decrying the increasing wave of attack on the villagers, Garba said the collaboration of the Nigeria Police and Zamfara State government to stem the tide have not helped matters.
He said: “The spate of attacks, apart from resulting in loss of lives, has disrupted economic activities and the livelihood of the communities.”
While not exonerating the army in the criminal act, Senate President, Senator David Mark, said the police has been given a mandate to bring the wave of insecurity to the barest minimum.
“I think it is an internal banditry and criminal activities that is going on.”
He, however, said he is not in a position to defend or speak for the armed forces, adding the armed forces find themselves in a very difficult situation when it has to do with internal security operation. “What I would suggest is that areas where we have this type of problems, people must give as much information out as possible, and as quickly as possible.
In a remark, Senator Bukar Ibrahim, who accused the security agencies as aggravating the problem said: “The security agencies are the number one killers in term of number of deaths in the North in recent times.
“I am surprised the other day when the Chief of Army Staff said Boko Haram killed 3,000 people; the security agencies have killed a lot more than 3,000 since this thing started.
Ibrahim said the dreaded Boko Haram today started just like any other religious sect and has existed for ages.
He said: “It’s not a new phenomenon altogether, but it is the activities of the police who pushed the Boko Haram people to wall by killing their leaders, killing thousands of other innocent people. That was what forced them to come out against the Nigeria state,” he said.
Senator Ayogu Eze, while decrying the breakdown of law and order in the system said what is happening in Zamfara State is a reflection of system failure and a system that cannot dictate when robbery is being planned and hatched.
“We should go beyond bringing motions and get the security agencies to be up and doing. The National Security Adviser should be up and doing because for a 60-man bandit to operate successfully in a broad-day light is a failure of intelligence and failure of the security.”