By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu
Worried by the worsening cases of killings, banditry and kidnapping across the country, the Senate, yesterday, directed the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to intensify efforts towards police patrolling of various communities in Nigeria.
The Senate also called on the Service Chiefs and all security agencies to as a matter of urgency, deploy security personnel to areas with rampant cases of insecurity and also change the security architecture of the areas immediately, to achieve positive results.
The apex legislative chamber made these resolutions following a motion raised by Senator Sani Musa, on the menace of bandits in some communities in his Niger East Senatorial District.
The Red Chamber also urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to urgently provide relief materials to succour the agonies of those affected in the onslaught unleashed on them by the bandits.
Raising the motion through orders 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended), Musa painted a pathetic picture of how bandits invaded many villages and communities within his district recently, killed and maimed many helpless residents.
He also lamented that the invaders, apart from killing innocent armless residents, the hoodlums equally burnt down houses and destroyed property worth millions of naira.
According to Jim, a total of four village heads were kidnapped by the bandits in the dastardly operations that had not attracted the attention of security agencies in spite of intimating some security chiefs on the unfortunate development.
He said: “there is a serious issue going on in my constituency. Bandits have taken over, the whole villages around Rafi and Shiroro local government areas since day before yesterday (Monday).
“They came in their hundreds and most of them are on motorbikes and hilux. I wonder how they have been able to work without any security agency interteceping them.
“The criminals wrecked among other havocs on their villages, thereby a lot of casualties including abduction, those kidnapped include district head of Malaka and three other village heads and a large number of their subjects were killed.
“They set many houses ablaze and carted away with many valuable assets worth millions of naira. Meanwhile, the death toll in Ukpoki renewed attack has risen to 12.
“I am bringing this matter of urgency to this hallowed chamber to rise to the occasion. The insecurity is becoming alarming and if we should allow it to continue, and we feel safe here, we are not safe.
“I urge this house to call the security chiefs to order. The security architecture in that area is not working. The bandits in Katsina and Zamfara are all in Niger state. It is beyond the Nigerian police”.
Contributing, the Deputy Chief Whip (APC, Niger North), Senator Aliyu Sabi, noted that Niger state is bordered by kebbi, zamfara, kaduna, which were also passing through the menace of banditry.
He however, urged that a holistic approach should be adopted in proffering solutions to the problem of banditry, killings and kidnapping and other security vices in the country.
He said: “it is not enough for actions to be taken at a particular point. Security personnel and authorities must realise that when you decemate them in one particular area they are definitely bound to find solace”.
Also speaking on the same issue, Senator Bima Enagi (APC, Niger South), expressed serious concerns about the security Nigeria, saying: “what is happening in this country needs to be addressed”.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, urged the security agencies to act as quickly as possible to repel the attacks and assaults by the bandits on the Niger East communities.
“The motion is a very serious one and I will urge that the security agencies should act as quickly and as expeditiously as possible to repel the attacks and assaults by the bandits.
“The essence of any government is the protection of lives and property and this is one thing we need to do to our citizens as an administration and as a government.
We hope this thing is brought to an end and we will do everything possible working together with the executive to ensure that we secure the lives of our citizens as well as their property”, Lawan stated.
Similarly, the Senate, directed the IGP to ensure better security of life and property in Boki local government area of Cross River State and establish mobile police barracks in the headquarters of the local government for easy deployment to troubled sports.
It also asked the Cross River State Government to take over the crisis stricken areas in Boki local government and delineate the inter community boundaries accordingly.
The resolutions by the Senate was sequel to a motion on “the incessant cases of militancy, coordinated killings and kidnapping in Boki local government area in Cross River State”, brought to the floor of the Chamber by Senator Sandy Onor (PDP, Cross River Central) at plenary.
The Senate condemned the killings and destruction of property in Boki as well as observed a minute silence in honour of those who lost their lives in the crisis.
Contributing, Senator Rochas Okorocha (APC, Imo West), called on the government to give more responsibilities to the traditional rulers, to help in tackling communal clashed more effectively.
“Our traditional rulers should be given more responsibilities to handle issues of communal disputes because every one of us comes from a community. We must return to basis and give traditional rulers responsibility”, he said.