Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Senate has urged the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, implement the recommendations contained in the report of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Nigeria Security Challenges to address the spate of killings arising of the activities of bandits in the country.
The call was made on Tuesday by the upper chamber against the backdrop of two motions considered on the need to stem banditry attacks in Niger and Katsina States, respectively.
Sponsor of one of the motions, Senator Bello Mandiya (APC – Katsina South), lamented what he described as “the rising wave of coordinated armed attacks in several parts of Katsina State by murderous bandits which have led to mass killings of persons.”
According to him, the said bandits engage in other forms of criminal activities such as cattle rustling, kidnapping and mass displacement of people from their ancestral lands.
The lawmaker recalled that only recently, between Tuesday May 5, and Wednesday, May 6, 2020, armed bandits carried out multiple attacks on several communities in Faskari, Kankara, Sabuwa, Dandume, Batsari and Jibia Locka Government Areas of the State.
The attacks, according to Mandiya, led to the shooting of the Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Aminu Abdulkareem, and the kidnap of the Head of Administration of Danmusa alongside his son to an unknown location.
“The bandits used sophisticated weapons including AK-47 during the deadly operations; in fact they are so emboldened that they now carry out their operations on a daily basis even in broad daylight,” the lawmaker lamented.
He recalled that following the spate of insecurity in the country, the upper chamber on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, setup an Ad-Hoc Committee on Nigerian Security Challenges, amidst highlighting the urgent need to restructure, review, and reorganise the current security architecture.
The Senate in its resolutions on the motion considered, accordingly urged the federal government to direct the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately send relief materials to the victims of banditry attacks.
It also urged the federal government to direct the Nigeria Police and Nigeria Army to beef up personnel and equipment deployment to flash points of armed banditry in katsina State.
In a related development, the Senate on Tuesday considered a second motion on the “Urgent need for the Federal Government to take drastic action to bring an end to banditry and kidnapping in Niger East Senatorial District.”
Sponsor of the motion, Senator Sani Musa (APC – Niger East) noted with concern that “banditry and kidnapping has become a daily incidence in Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara States for sometimes now with huge consequence of loss of lives.”
He expressed worry that “the continuous security challenges and related attacks by bandits on towns and villages in Niger East Senatorial District have meted untold hardship on the people and subjected the affected areas under serious survival threats.”
Accordingly, the upper chamber in its resolutions urged the Federal Government to establish a permanent military base at the boundary between Alawa and Uregi areas of Shiroro and Rafi Local Government Areas of Niger State to restore confidence in the security and safety of the affected communities.
The Senate also called on the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, to form a military operation similar to Operation Sharan Daji to mop-up the bandits in their abode at Bakacin Hatsi along Madaka town and Uregi, the Alawa axis as well as Kamuku forest in Niger State.