By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu
Senate has raised the alarm that there are plenty illegal arms and light weapons circulating across the country, even as it urged the federal government to activate relevant security structures to mop up such arms as a measure towards addressing insecurity across the country.
It further urge the federal government to take proactive measures to curtail insecurity and malicious killings ravaging parts of the country.
These were fallouts of senate debate on the motion, “Urgent need for the Senate’s intervention on the militia attack on Okokolo in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State”, by Senator Abba Moro (PDP Benue South) and four others.
After the debate, the Senate equally charged relevant security agencies to be proactive in order to forestall future occurrence of such ugly situation.
While condemning the attacks in Agatu communities, it directed the National Emergency Management Agency to immediately intervene to provide relief materials to the affected people.
Presenting the motion, Senator Moro said the June 30 attack occurred at his constituents in a church in Okokolo town and led to the death of over 25 persons, adding that “this has created fears, anxieties, and agonies among the settlers leading them to desert their homes”.
According to him, the illegal proliferation of small arms and light weapons has contributed in no small measure to the attacks on the town.
He regretted that “this dastardly acts are being perpetrated against innocent persons of the Benue South senatorial district despite several peace agreements/accords entered into by the parties”.
The lawmaker warned that the protracted crisis within these Agrarian settlements presently will result in food shortage across the nation since farmers are finding it increasingly unsafe to go to their farms for the fears of being attacked.
In his contribution, Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, stressed the need for government to beam its searchlight on the para-military agencies in charge of the nation’s borders so as to properly monitor immigrants into the country, pointing out that “80 percent of the people we see around are not Nigerians”.
Also, Senator Theodore Orji (PDP Abia Central), said that the people of Benue State should be given adequate security going by the series of attacks on them over the years.
He suggested that retired security agents from all formations should be invited for refresher training on how to help in curbing the menace “instead of being allowed to waste away in their various villages”.
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, said that the National Assembly would work with the executive arm of government in order to address the rising level of insecurity in the country.
He particularly said that the Parliament might review some of the security laws with a view to improving on the security situation.