*** Our Security is Overwhelmed, there must be prudent use of Resources approved for Security Agencies – Lawan
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- DISTURBED by the continued cases of armed banditry and kidnapping in the Niger East Senatorial District of Niger State, the Senate has called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, establish a permanent military base at the boundary between Alawa and Uregi areas of Shiroro and Rafi local Government areas of Niger State.
According to the Senate, the action of the Federal government would help restore confidence in the security and safety of the affected communities including commuters flying Kaduna Mokwa Trunk ’A’ route to Lagos;
The Senate has also called on the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai to form a military operation similar to Operation Sharan Daji to mop up the bandits in their safe new abode at Bakacin Hatsi along Madaka town and Uregi, the Alawa axis as well as Kamuku forest in Niger State and order the military base and Operation Sharan Daji to mopped up bandits operating within entire Niger East Senatorial District and its environs in Niger State.
Resolutions of the Senate yesterday were sequel to a motion titled, “Urgent need for the Federal Government to take drastic actions to bring an end to Acts of Banditry and Kidnapping in Niger East Senatorial District” and sponsored by the Chairman, Senate Services Committee, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, All Progressives Congress, APC, Niger East.
Meanwhile, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan said yesterday that the nation’s Security is Overwhelmed, even as he stressed that was the need for more security personnel and equipment to be provided, adding that the Legislature will continue to assist the Executive to ensure that Nigerians come to the aid of the Security and that it was be ensured that there is prudent use of resources approved for the Security Agencies.
The Upper chamber has also stressed the need to make such further order as it deems fit in the circumstance to facilitate the realization of objective of this motion.
Presenting the motion, Senator Musa said that the Senate “Notes that the act of banditry and kidnapping has become a daily incidence now in Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara States for sometimes now with huge consequence of loss of lives, means of livelihood and displacement of communities. Despite the present Covid-19 pandemic the attacks have continued;
“Further notes that 22nd April this year bandits struck Communities of Madaka, Bakacin Hatsi, Tunga Bako, Uregi, Ushama, Sambuga, Ufaka, Pangu Cari Maguga in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State where some members of the communities including 9 Vigilantees were killed, kidnapped and valuables including cows, farm produce, motorcycles and money carted away;
“Recalls that on the 25th April 2020 communities in Shiroro Local Government have been under consistent attacks, and these communities include Zongoro, Kwaki, Magami, Masuku, Galadiman kogo, Yinakpa, Kapna, Aleyin, Rafin Senyin, Amuko, Farin Doki, Cope and Gangagi all in Erena Ward and many other villages in Gurmana Ward were all recently invaded such as Kokki, Sarkin Zama, Jabuki among others killing, taping and carted away with herds of cattle and other valuables these areas have been the epic center of banditry activities in Niger State.”
According to Senator Musa, the Senate “Notes that exactly on the 6“1 to 10th of May, 2020 Rafi Local Government came under siege again for almost five days stretch by these same bandits where they attacked residents of Godoro, karaya Makaranta, Kagara low cost communities and its environs in Rafi Local Government of Niger State and rustled several cows and kidnapped almost about 10 people including a five months old baby and killed a retired Secretary of Kagara General Hospital;
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“Further recalls that almost at the same time the people of Beni and Katarma and Hayin Dogo communities in Munya Local govt. were attacked with one man killed, while his wife and grandson were kidnapped. In Adunu ward of Paikoro Local Government, able youths were kidnapped and 3 others were killed, the same attacks in Tufa in Gurara LGA and Tafa LGA all of Niger State, and which all shares border with the Federal Capital Territory and its environs witnessed the biggest callous attack ever in their communities by these bandits killing almost 50 people including soldiers, the police and civilians including a little girl and burning houses as well as rustled several cows and kidnapped many that till today have not returned.
“Aware that sometimes ago Federal Government had made frantic effort in curbing the menace by setting up Operation Sharan Daji and inter-agency task force to tackle cases of banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping in Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara States then, but unfortunately that Operation Sharan Daji has not reached N iger state.
“Further aware that the five states Governors who shared borders with Kamuku forest, which for long became the hub of armed bandits that terrorise Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, Kebbi and Zamfara states met with the Securities Agencies Chiefs sometime last year to find a common solution to the scourge of banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping but up till now the menace continue by the bandits with bigot.”
He said that the Senate is “Worried by the rise in banditry in parts of the state in the last two months, Niger State Governor has declared an all-out war on the armed criminals terrorizing the state. The governor said the dialogue and amnesty offered the bandits in some of the States mentioned seems to have failed and that therefore the government needs to take drastic action against because, as government, we cannot fold our hands and see Criminals takes over the state.”
“Cognizance that inspire intense military and other securities operations and surveillance in Niger, Kaduna, Kastina and Zamfara, negotiation and granting of amnesty to the bandits by Zamfara and Katsina States, these bandits continue to unleashed their callous act of kidnap, destructions of properties and killing of innocent people in both states and Niger state unabated;
“Worried that the continuous security challenges and related attacks by bandits on towns, villages and communities in Rafi, Shiroro and Munya as well as other villages in Niger East Senatorial District have meted untold hardship on the people and subjected the affected areas under serious survival threat;
“Further worried that if this menace is not drastically and promptly addressed now, these communities who are mostly farmers chased out of their homes and deserted their farms with no hope of returning soon with the current raining season, the consequence is going to be huge and it will negatively affect the food sufficiency, the fight against Covid-19 infection, economic diversification policy and recent border closure of the Federal Government which can cause food insecurity in the land.”