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Published On: Thu, Apr 26th, 2018

Reps seek Buhari’s explanation over killings

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The House of Representatives•Pass no confidence vote on service chiefs

By Christiana Ekpa and Umar Muhammad Puma

The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to summon President Muhammadu Buhari to appear before it to give explanations to the spate of killings in the country.
The House also passed a vote of no confidence on the country’s Service Chiefs as well as all the security advisers to the President and called for new ones to inject fresh ideas.
The House further resolved to suspend sitting for three legislative days to protest and express their displeasure over the recurring killings.
It equally resolved that in the light of Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution which places the security and lives of the Nigerian people as the priorities of government, the president has failed.
The resolutions of the House followed the unanimous adoption of a motion under matters of urgent public importance moved by Rep. Mark Gbillah (Benue-APC).
Moving the motion, Gbillah express worry that Benue remained under attack by armed men despite the deployment of security agencies to check incessant killing in the state.
“These attacks assumed a new dimension yesterday when two Catholic Priests, the Church Catechist and 16 other worshippers were murdered in cold blood at St. Ignatius Catholic mission, in Gwer East Local Government Area.
“Several others who attended an early morning funeral near the church are still unaccounted for after reportedly being gunned down by the retreating armed herdsmen.
“The Benue state government has raised an alarm severally to the security agencies but it is very worrying that they curiously do not employ pro-active strategy to forestall the attacks.
“Let the president provide the House with details of those responsible for the attack in Naka town and the actions to be taken against them,’’ Gbillah said.
He further accused the security agencies of usually responding after when scores of innocent citizens had lost their lives and property.
Gbillah urged the Federal Government to deploy the requisite amount of personnel and equipment to flush out the perpetrators of the heinous killings in Benue.
“There is also need to establish permanent military base in the affected locations in the state,’’ he added.
Other lawmakers who took turns to speak dispassionately about the killings in the country, said that urgent and pragmatic efforts must be applied to curb the menace.
Rep. Dickson Takhir (Benue) alleged that the killers connived with security agencies to perpetrate the act.
“Benue is under siege and if we don’t take the necessary actions it will amount to abdicating the responsibility of government to protect lives and property of its citizens.
“It appears there is no moral will to tackle the matter because continuous complaints about the killings seem to fall on deaf ears. The provision of the law allows self-defence and if necessary, our people will do the needful,’’ Takhir said.
Rep. Edward Pwajok (Plateau-APC) emphasised the need for the leadership of the National Assembly to sit with the President to explain the feelings of Nigerians over the killings.
“If Nigeria does not nip this to the bud some people will be taken to the international criminal court.
“Something drastic has to be done, we don’t only have to be talking always without commensurate results; there is need to invite the Service Chiefs to brief the house on efforts to stop the killing,’’ Pwajok said.
Also Hon. Onyemaechi Joan Mrakpor who blasted the police put so much effort in getting Senator in their net with over 200 police said situation will sure prevent those agitating for 2019.
“Men, women with pregnancy and children are been killed everyday and all that matter to the police is how arrest Dino. The numbers of police following Dino to arrest him, yet in Benue state no police men there. Whether we believe it or not, the blood of the people killed is crying.
“How did we get here and how will get to 2019 if the situation is this worst, can we all come to say we want to run when the people that we are representing are been killed on daily bases. DSS, IG, Army and even the commander in Chief does not seem to know anything about those responsible for the killing” she said
Similarly, Rep. Aliyu Magaji said that the drastic action needed to be done was to relief the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police of their duties.
“The situation has gone beyond sentiments: it is a very terrible thing happening,’’ Magaji said.
Hon. Henry Ufongo suggested that the killer herdsmen be branded terrorists.
“I do not believe those carrying out the killings are from outside the country, I believe they are terrorists and should be treated as such,’’ Ufongo said.
Hon. Nicholas Ossai (Delta-PDP) said that if the Federal Government failed to proscribe the killer herdsmen, “then we can sit and do it legislatively’’.
Chairman House Committee on Media and Publicity, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas said that the resolution to invite the president was borne out of the belief that some security agencies were not carrying out his instructions appropriately.
The House, therefore, directed all the committees mandated to investigate the killing to submit their reports immediately.

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