December 4, 2019

Bandits have taken Over Our Communities,  Senators Cry Out

Red chambers of the Nigerian Senate

Red chambers of the Nigerian Senate

…Cross River now a killing Field, Senator Onor

… As Senate Calls on the IGP to immediately arrest and prosecute the perpetrators

…Our traditional rulers should be given more responsibilities to handle issues of communal disputes, Senator Okorocha

By Henry Umoru

SENATORS from Cross River and Niger States, Wednesday cried out and called for serious help over the incessant killings and take over of their Communities by Armed Bandits and kidnappers.

Free speech under attack(Opens in a new browser tab)

Senators Mohammed Sani Musa, All Progressives Congress, APC-Niger East and Sandy Onor, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Cross River Central with separate point of Order drew the Senate to the ugly and unfortunate killings, armed banditry and kidnappings of their Constituents.

Disturbed by these cases, the  Senate yesterday urged the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, to as a matter of urgency, intensify efforts towards police patrolling of various communities in the country.

The  Senate condemned in very strong terms the killings and destruction of property in its totality, calling on the IGP to immediately arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.

The Senate has also called on the Service Chiefs and all security agencies to immediately  deploy security to parts of Niger affected by activities of bandits and to change the security architecture of the area immediately.

The Upper Chamber has mandated  the IGP to ensure better security of life and property in Boki local government area and establish mobile police barracks in the headquarters of Boki local government area of Cross River State  for easy deployment to troubled sports.

The Resolutions were sequel to motions by Senators Sani Musa, APC-Niger East and Sandy Onor, PDP, Cross River Central.

While Senator  Musa’s motion was titled, ” The Banditry Attacks on People of Rafi and Shiroro Local government Areas of Niger State”, that of Onor is titled, ” the incessant cases of militancy, coordinated killings and kidnapping in Boki Local Government Area in Cross River.”

The  Senate has also  urged the National Emergency and Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently provide relief materials to the affected communities in view of the  harmattan currently experienced.

Presenting his motion,  Musa said that “bandits have taken over, the whole villages a around Shiroro local government. They came in their hundreds and most of them were on motorbikes and Hilux.

“I wonder how they have been able to work without any security agency intertecepting them.

“I’m bringing this matter of urgency to this hallowed chamber to rise to the occasion. The  insecurity is becoming alarming and  if we should allow it to continue, and we feel safe here, we are not safe.

“I urge this house to call the security chiefs order. The security architecture in that area is not working. The bandits in Katsina and Zamfara are all in Niger. It is beyond the Nigerian police,” he said.

Two died, as motorcycle slipped on collapse bridge in Osun(Opens in a new browser tab)

Supporting the motion,  Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, Niger North who noted that there was the need to look at the issue of banditry holistically, said, “It is not enough for actions to be taken at a particular point. Security personnel and authority must realise that when you decimate them in one particular area, they are definitely bound to find solace.”

Similarly, the  Senate also aked the Cross River State Government to take over the crisis stricken areas and delineate the inter community boundaries accordingly.

Presenting his motion, Senator  Onor who spoke under orders 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Orders, said: “Mr. President, last week, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, had spoken to the worrisome crisis involving three  communities: Ise-Obendege, Boje and Sadom in Boki Local Government of Cross River State. Boki is a very critical and strategic local government in Cross River State and falls within my constituency. It is germane that this Senate should lend its voice to finding ways and means of ending this crisis that has claimed many lives and property.

In his contribution, Rochas Okorocha (Imo State) said traditional rulers should be given more responsibilities to handle issues of communal disputes.

Okorocha said, “Our traditional rulers should be given more responsibilities to handle issues of communal disputes because every one of us comes from a community. We must return to basis and give traditional rulers responsibility.”

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan who described the  motions was very serious ones, however urged the security agencies to act as quickly and as expeditiously as possible to repel the attacks and assaults by the bandits.

Lawan said, “The essence of any government is the protection of lives and property and this is one thing we need to do to our citizens as an administration and as a government.

The idle sea port(Opens in a new browser tab)

“We hope this thing is brought to an end and we will do everything possible working  together with the executive to ensure that we secure the lives of our citizens as well as their property.”