By Henry Umoru, ABUJA
WORRIED by the continued cases of banditry in the country especially in Niger State, with massive killing and wanton destruction of property, the Senate yesterday asked the Federal government to as a matter of urgency, declare a full-fledged war on these unscrupulous elements as they have been declared as terrorists.
The Senate has also again called on the Federal Government to establish a military Base at Shiroro to restore confidence in the security and safety of the affected communities and to safeguard the National Asset located within the area, such as the Shiroro Hydro-electric Power Dam
The Upper Chamber has directed the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA to immediately provide relief materials and medical team to the victims, just as it hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for ordering air bombardment on their area of operation.
Resolutions of the Senate yesterday were sequel to a motion titled, ” Recent Bandit attack in communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State: A call for action, sponsored by Senator Sani Musa, APC, Niger East and Co-Sponsored by Senator Sadiq Umar, APC, Kwara North.
Presenting the motion, Senator Sadiq Umar said that “The Senate notes that on Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 13 (Thirteen) persons were confirmed killed in an attack by suspected bandits in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State;
“Notes also that on Friday 14th January 2022, 5 (Five) vigilante members were killed in an attack on a local market and some communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State;
“Aware that during the deadly operation, a lot of destructions ensued, including many people who sustained multiple gunshot injuries while many others were kidnapped and taken to an unknown destination;
“Aware also that the assailants attacked villagers who were harvesting crops on their farm in Nakundna village in Shiroro council area and the inability of farmers to harvest their farm produce may likely trigger food scarcity in the State;
“Notes that the current sad reality is that there is no longer semblance of security in the whole of Lakpma axis of Shiroro local government;
“Regrets that these attacks by armed groups have continued in the North-west and North-Central Niger State despite repeated government assurance to address the escalating atrocities;
“Recalls that over 151, 380 people, mostly peasant farmers, were displaced by the activities of bandits in the last two years. The displaced persons were registered in 13 local government areas of the state, with Rafi council area neighbouring Zamfara and Kaduna topping the chart with 28, 987 displaced persons;
‘Concludes that in the Shiroro council area, where the latest incident occurred, over 27, 678 persons were displaced within the period; and
“Notes that the ongoing bloodletting and destruction of public and private assets by the bandits cannot be allowed to continue.”