By Musa Baba Adamu
The Senate, Wednesday, urged the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Babagana Munguno to, as a matter of urgency, deploy more security personnel to communities affected by the activities of bandits and suspected herdsmen to avert a looming humanitarian crisis likely to occur as a result of the displacement of residents.
This was even as the Upper Chamber called on National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) to undertake an ‘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.
These formed part of resolutions reached by the Senate after it considered two separate motions on the displacement of residents following the invasion of their communities by bandits and suspected herdsmen.
Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC, Kebbi Central) in the first motion noted with concern the rising humanitarian situation in Bena, Kebbi State, arising from the activities of bandits in neighbouring Zamfara State which shares a border with Kebbi State.
According to the lawmaker, “the internally displaced persons from about 17 villages in Zamfara sharing the border with Kebbi State have moved to Bena, wasagu, mage areas with no arrangements for an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp and are scattered all over, making it difficult to cater for their welfare.”
Accordingly, the Senate while urging the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to, as a matter of urgency, establish IDP camps in Bena and render support to those affected; charged the National Security Adviser and all agencies involved in internal security to increase deployment of security agencies to reverse the ugly situation.
Coming under Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, Senator Tolu Odebiyi (APC, Ogun West), in a separate motion recalled the recent spate of attacks by suspected herdsmen on communities in Yewa area of Ogun State.
The lawmaker noted that, “many of these attacks by suspected herdsmen on the area remain perennial, owing to the near absence of police and other security personnel in the affected communities;
“Disturbed that these attacks have brought unquantifiable damage to facilities which would have ensured the welfare of the residents and inhabitants of these communities;
“Further Disturbed, that many communities, namely (but not limited to) Asa, Oho Agbooro, Moro, Ibeku and Agbon-Ojodu, were affected by the criminal activities of these suspected herdsmen;
“Aware that the countless attacks by these criminal elements have forced many residents of these areas have deserted and relocated to a refugee camp in Pobearea of Benin Republic in search of safety, with many of them forced to live in very unfavourable conditions in the refugee camps;
“Further Aware that the position of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, which followed an informed on-the-spot assessment of the affected communities, was described by the Executive Secretary of the society in Ogun State, Mr Oluwole Aboyade as “…a very serious disaster, a serious one of the highest order…”
“Aware also that the Red Cross Organization, the only recognized organization that has been providing intermittent aids for these displaced persons, has had to issue out statement, seeking assistance from well-meaning Nigerians for members of these affected communities;