By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu
Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to direct his security chiefs to immediately produce quick response measures aimed at tackling the spate of killings in the country.
Saraki, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in response to the killings in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area in which scores of people were reportedly murdered in attacks by unknown assailants on some villages, said it is important for Nigerians to start having the assurances that the government is decisively responding to the current threat to lives and properties in parts of the country.
“I am very sad to hear the news of the incident in Plateau State. This is very depressing and giving the impression that the country is not safe. The problem of Boko Haram in the North-east is well known to everybody but this killing by unknown band of assailants in Benue, Taraba, Plateau and Kaduna States is now giving another dimension to the crisis. Coming at the time we are getting ready for elections, we need to respond fast.
“If the plan is to develop some long term measures, we also request that the President should mandate the security chiefs to put forward an immediate short term and quick response measure which will restore confidence in the system and demonstrate to the criminals behind this killings the capacity of government to tackle the issue.
“We have to immediately device a plan through which the criminals behind the killings and their sponsors can be nabbed and made to face the wrath of the law. We have to also develop plans to mop up illegal fire arms in the hands of dangerous elements while also stopping the influx of these arms into the country”, he stated.
The Senate President however commiserated with the people of Barkin Ladi Local Governement Area and the Government of Plateau State over the weekend attack on some of the communities. He prayed for the repose of the deceased and for Almighty God to grant the injured swift recovery.
Similarly, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu, has raised the alarm over the escalating killings and insecurity in Nigeria, warning that more lives would be lost unless the nation’s security architecture was reorganized.
In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Uche Anichukwu, in reaction to the recent killings in Plateau State, which had left scores dead, Ekweremadu decried the reluctance of the nation’s leaders to tinker with the nation’s security structure, despite glaring lapses.
“It is really unfortunate because our country is a nation where the leaders have refused to learn from the mistakes and missteps of the past.
“For many years now, some of us have been consistent about the need to descentralise our security architecture; and so long as we are not doing that, we are going to get exactly the same result.
“It pains me that innocent people, who voted us into power to protect their lives and property are losing their lives and their property because we have refused to take the correct steps.
“The sad news is not only that many people have died, but also that more people will die unless we take the right steps, putting the right security architecture in place. There is no way you will have a federation like Nigeria as big as it is, with all the diversities, and continue to operate a centralised policing and expect it to work. It will never work and it is a major problem.
“So, it is sad that this is happening. But, as I said, the real tragedy is that this Plateau incident is not going to be last because we refuse to be corrected”, the statement said.
Ekweremadu reasoned that the Government of Plateau State would be in the best position to protect the citizens if it had its own police outfit.
“I sympathise with the people of Plateau State, especially the communities, which lost their loved ones. However, I will continue to sound even like a broken record until the correct thing is done”, he said in the statement.