By Levinus Nwabughiogu, Abuja

House of Representatives, Wednesday, urged the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya and Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali to deploy more security men to effectively secure the Takum LGA in Taraba State and fish out bandits who recently killed 6 soldiers and policemen in an ambush.

The House also urged the intelligence agencies to take steps to unveil the sponsors of the bandits and bring them to justice.

The House also called on all branches of government to ensure that the shortage of men in the armed forces was urgent addressed to combat the nature of the security challenges confronting the country.

The resolutions came on the heels of a motion titled “The unconscionable killings of civilians and soldiers in Takum, Taraba State: Need to increase the capacity of the armed Forces and security agencies to forestall further loss of lives” moved by Hon. Usman Danjuma under matters of urgent public importance at the emergency session of the House.

Presenting the motion at the plenary on behalf of his co-mover, Hon. Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum representing Takum/Donga/Ussa/Yangtu SDA Federal Constituency, Taraba State, Danjuma who represents Shiddi Wukari/Ibi Federal Constituency of the same State said that bandits recently unleashed terror on a community, killing security men. 

He said: “On Tuesday 10th May 2022, bandits/terrorist attacked Tati village in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State.

“The Tati village, a farming community was razed down by bandits who had arrived in the area the previous night.

“In response to several distress calls made by the residents, security agency mobilized scantily to the area.

“The bandits ambushed the security agents who were outnumbered and in the ensuing face off, six soldiers were killed; this was after the bandits had earlier killed a policeman at a check point and other civilians at Tati; the Commander of the 93 Battalion is missing in action.

“The massive movement of the bandits to the area had been reported by residents to government agencies and functionaries as well as security agencies some days back.

“Security agencies especially the 93 BN of the Nigeria army and some units of the Special Forces (operations Wild Stroke) had engaged the bandits successful last week and seized dangerous weapons from them.”

The lawmaker also recalled that “about a month ago the bandits had struck etcKwentwen, Kwencwen, Kwenmboi (Quarry), Gangum 2, Tati-Kumbo and Tati area. Others are; Bassang, Fawen, Kashiten and Muji in Takum and Ussa Local Government Areas respectively and killed over 46 persons without any serious challenge.”

He expressed concern that the bandits were increasing their reach and destabilizing more parts of the country.

“These bandits operate in very large numbers and in this instant case, less than 20 military men are confronted by over 300 well armed bandits.

“This persistent and consistent killings of both security personnel and civilians that may dampen the morale of our soldiers and encourage the bandits to cause more havoc.

“Nigeria has one of the lowest ratios of soldiers to the civilian population and the men are overstretched as operations are taking place in almost all States of the Federation”, he said.

Adopting the motion, the House called on NEMA to urgently provide assistance to members of the affected Communities in Takum LGA in the state.

Briefing Journalists at plenary, Danjuma said that the bandits were operating from Plateau and Borno States.

“We are facing serious Security challenge by bandits in southern Taraba. About 3 days ago, over 42 persons were killed and six communities were run down in Takum local government area.

“These bandits are said to be coming from Plateau and part of Borno states. The security agencies are overwhelmed because of the obsolete equipment they have.

“They cannot even move because as I speak now, the Commanding Officer of the 97 battalion is nowhere to be found. He led the operation to Taki village where 6 soldiers were killed but the commanding officer as I speak now we do not know his whereabout.

“Our area is in dire need of security guards as you know it is agrarian society  and these bandits come in groups, you see them in large numbers.

“We are crying out for government to assist us by providing enough security in our area, though we understand that the ratio of civilians to the military is not enough. We need security otherwise one day we will not be able to sit here, you cannot travel from here to Nasarawa, from here to Kogi, from here to Kaduna, from here to plateau without being at alert, without been afraid that something will happen to you and at anytime they can come for you.

“That was why last year I sponsored a bill on forest guards but as I speak I don’t know what happened to that bill. These bandits operate in our forests. So, I am appealing to the media to help us pass this message to the government so that all of us are secure, so that we can all do our jobs better.

“The governor is doing his best but he is also overwhelmed. The governor is not in charge of the security it is the federal government that is in charge of security in the country.

“The issue of suggesting that Nigerians should carry arms I am not a part of that but we have able Nigerians who are ready to be in the police, in the army who would want to join in the fight against insurgents”, he begged.

In a similar development, the also adopted a motion moved by Hon. Khadija Bukar Ibrahim on the need to immediately come to the aid of victims of a sandstorm and its resultant disaster in Yobe State.

Khadija in leading the debate stated that the sandstorm destroyed several houses and goods running into millions of naira.

She expressed worry that the displaced victims were left without any means of survival.

Adopting the motion, the House called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NA), the North East Development Commission (NEDC) as well as other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to come to the aid of the victims.

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