House Directs IG, Army Chief to Arrest, Prosecute Suspected B’Haram Members

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• Approves finding mission to Benue communities

James Emejo in Abuja

Barely 24 hours after its engagement with service chiefs over the deteriorating security situation in the country, the House of Representatives wednesday passed a resolution urging the Inspector General of Police (IG) and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) to float a joint task force to deal decisively with suspected Boko Haram members parading as herdsmen particularly in Etsako Federal Constituency of Edo State.

In a motion sponsored by Hon. Johnson Egwakhide Ogbuma on the need to arrest and prosecute the outlawed group, the House further urged the Department of State Services (DSS) to be proactive in monitoring the area so as to prevent the scoundrels from further inflicting harm on the people and before people start resorting to self-help.
The Committees on Army, Police Affairs and National Security and Intelligence were also mandated to ensure compliance and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.
The lawmakers particularly noted the growing state of insecurity in Etsako, leading to incidences of rape, killings and kidnapping by people purported to be herdsmen.

It recalled that on June 9, a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson of Elele community and their two children while on their way from the farm, were accosted by men suspected to be herdsmen who killed the pregnant woman while the husband narrowly escaped with deep machete cuts.
Ogbuma said the criminal activities had instilled fear in the people and adversely affected their socio-economic activities as they could no longer go about their lawful engagements for fear of being attacked or kidnapped.
Meanwhile, the House further also passed a motion by Hon. Mark Gbillah (Benue, APC) for the setting up of an ad-hoc committee to interface with relevant ministries and agencies of the federal government, affected state governments, international development partners, donor agencies, non governmental organisations and affected communities on the need for intervention in the incessant killing, destruction of property and displacement of communities by rampaging herdsmen.

The lawmakers raised concerns that the federal government had not set up any agency or initiated any campaign to obtain the much needed resources to redress the consequences of herdsmen attacks in the affected communities particularly in Benue State compared to efforts in other regions of the country.