By Deji Elumoye and Udora Orizu
The Senate has called on the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to construct police posts and ensure police presence in communities displaced as a result of incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen, so as to ensure security and rekindle the people’s confidence.
The Upper Chamber at plenary on Wednesday also called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) to undertake on-the-spot assessment of the affected communities with a view to determining the extent of the problem and providing relief to the affected persons.
It further called on the concerned authorities to pursue and put in place necessary mechanism for the reparation and relocation of the affected people and communities.
These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion on the urgent need to intervene in the plight of communities displaced and forced to seek refuge in Benin Republic as a result of incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen, sponsored by Senator Tolu Odebiyi.
Moving the motion, Odebiyi recalled the recent spate of attacks by suspected herdsmen on communities in Yewa area of Ogun State, saying many communities, namely (but not limited to) Asa, Oho Agbooro, Moro, Ibeku and Agbon Ojodu were affected by the criminal activities of the suspected herdsmen.
According to him, the countless attacks by these criminal elements have forced many residents of these areas to desert and relocate to a refugee camp in Pobe area of Benin Republic in search of safety, with many of them forced to live in very unfavourable conditions in the refugee camps.
He noted that many of the attacks by suspected herdsmen on the area remain perennial, owing to the near absence of police and other security personnel in the affected communities.
The senator expressed concern that the attacks have brought unquantifiable damage to facilities which would have ensured the welfare of the residents and inhabitants of the communities.
He also stressed that the state government alone cannot be left with the onerous task of resettling these displaced citizens, hence, the need for support from the federal government to effectively return the affected citizens back to their various communities.
Odebiyi added that if the situation is not urgently and properly attended to, it will undermine the country’s international standing and cause an hitch in its relations with its neighbour.