â€¢ Asks FG to disarm killer-herdsmen in Plateau
James Emejo in Abuja
The House of Representatives thursday passed a motion mandating its Committees on Customs and National Intelligence and Public Safety to investigate the alleged importation of military uniforms and equipment by the Kogi State Government.
It also resolved to invite the Nigeria Customs Service to explain its failure to arrest the importer of the items, who is the Special Adviser to the state government on security, Jerry Omodara, but rather asking the latter to procure end-user certificate from the National Security Adviser, when the customs knows the importer is not constitutionally empowered to procure arms and will normally be unable to access such sensitive certificate.
It followed a motion sponsored by Hon. Karimi Sunday (PDP, Kogi) under matters of urgent public importance on the need to check the importation of firearms and military equipment into the country by politicians and private citizens.
Also, the green chamber approved a motion urging the federal government to step up measures at enforcing law and order to stem the tide of violent attacks and blood-letting in Plateau State by disarming the killer herdsmen.
It urged government to recover all farmlands under occupation and ensure that persons displaced by violent attacks repossess their ancestral habitat, properties and farmlands.
The House, in a motion moved by Hon. Istifanus Gyang and six other members, further mandated the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to the displaced victims.
The lower chamber, also observed a minute silence in memory of the dead in the Plateau attacks.
However, Karimi expressed concern that there had been strong indications that the Government of Kogi State only recently imported 100 pieces of military camouflage, 26 pieces of military camouflage jungle boots, 20 pieces of plastic knives, 24 pieces of black bullet-proof vests, 28 boxing gloves among others.
He said there had been reported cases of assassination and threats to lives of politicians and public officials who have expressed divergent political views from that of the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
He said recent attempt on the life of Senator Dino Melaye among others gave credence to the need to act.
He warned that if the trend is allow to continue, and politicians, state governors and private citizens are allowed to import arms under the guise of equipping the military, the security and life of innocent Nigerians will be jeopardised.
Contributing to the motion, Hon. Hassan Saleh (APC, Benue) said the development signified a dangerous trend in Kogi State and called for strong response from the House- and lamenting that â€œThis place is becoming a talk shop.â€
He regretted that individuals appeared to have sophisticated weapons than security operatives.
â€œWe canâ€™t continue to have irresponsible governors,â€ he said.
Hon. Nnenna-Ukeje Elendu (PDP, Abia) said several persons currently walk about with unregistered arms, warning that the proliferation of illegal weapons is a tinder box waiting to explode- a situation which could threaten the hard won democracy.
On his part, Hon. Olufemi Adebanjo (APC, Lagos) said state policing appeared to be the solution to the menace.
He argued that state governments currently appeared to pay more attention to the police than the federal government in the area of funding and other logistics supports.
On the killings in Plateau, Gyang said killer herdsmen continued to have a field day in killing and sacking communities and villages despite a military led Operation Safe Haven mandated to enforce law and order and secure lives and property of abiding citizens.