By Christiana Ekpa and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Senate yesterday called for the use air surveillance by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to identify the location of the armed bandits in Zamfara State which are within the sparse forest and flush them out.
The upper legislative chamber also urged the federal government to mount diplomatic pressure on Niger Republic and Chad to forestall criminals from using their territories to launch attack on Nigeria.
It equally urged the Zamfara State Government to upgrade, recruit and generously fund state and local vigilance teams with the aim of improving security in the affected areas.
These resolutions were sequel to a motion titled: “Urgent Need to look into the Killings that took place in Zurmi L.G.A of Zamfara State” sponsored by Senator Tijjani Kaura (APC Zamfara North) during plenary.
Senator Kaura, while presenting the motion, noted that “cross border banditry had brought Nigeria’s frail security system to the lime light having triggered an orgy of violence in Zamfara State which left 39 people dead in Zurmi local governmrnt area on Wednesday, February 14, 2018”.
The lawmaker said in spite of the notice and warnings to the law enforcement agencies on the impending attack by the Zamfara State Government 24 hours before the attack, no precaution was taken to avert the unfortunate event.
He raised concerns that the latest attacks had caused fears across the state, especially around rural communities who had similar experiences in the past and were helpless.
“These security breaches are on the increase in spite of the huge resources being expended by the Federal and Zamfara State Governments”, he lamented.
Contributing, the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan said there must be executive-legislative collaboration to ensure that the outcome of the recently held national security summit was realised.
Senator Lawan said: “We need to be optimistic that this time around the implementation will be better”.
Also Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC Zamfara Central) described the incident as very sad, adding that politicians must differentiate politics from friendship.
Senator Marafa, who said he has been vindicated by the recent killing in the state having been crying out for long, however, called for state of emergency which was rejected by the lawmakers.
Similarly, Senator Jibrin Barau (APC Kano North) labelled the matter was a “national calamity”, stressing: “It is a big challenge to this country. We should forget our differences and political persuasions and come together as leaders so that we find solutions to this menace”.
On his part, Senator Isa Misau (APC Bauchi Central) said it was unfortunate that security is being mixed with politics in the country.
According to him, “By the time we mix security with politics, we cannot achieve what we want to achieve”.
In his remarks, the deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at the plenary, said any government that abandoned its responsibility of protecting lives of its citizens had failed. “It is not coincidence that the first right in section 4 is right to life. We must not be seen to be joking with the lives of our people”, he said.