March 6, 2024

Insecurity: NASS leadership to meet Tinubu as terrorists kill 50 in Benue

Insecurity: NASS leadership to meet Tinubu as terrorists kill 50 in Benue

… reiterates its call for the review of security architecture in the affected areas to forestall continuous attacks

By Henry Umoru, Abuja

Disturbed by the state of insecurity caused by multiple crimes, banditry, and a spate of kidnappings across the country, the leadership of the National Assembly has resolved to urgently seek to meet President Bola Tinubu to find lasting solutions to the problems.

The National Assembly, particularly the Senate, has also declared very disturbing, unfortunate, and sad the killing of over 50 people in fresh attacks on some communities in Benue State by suspected terrorists and unabated security challenges across the country.

It also urged the service chiefs and heads of other security agencies to, as a matter of urgency, deploy security personnel to address the continuing and ongoing attacks by armed terrorists parading as herdsmen on communities in Kwande, Ukum, Logo, and Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas of Benue State to flush them out and restore normalcy to the affected communities, and invest in surveillance technology and equipment to detect and prevent future attacks.

The Senate called for a review of the security architecture in the affected areas to forestall the continuous attacks. 

It also urged the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to immediately mobilise relief materials for the people displaced by these attacks in Kwande, Ukum, Logo, and Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas of Benue State.

Resolutions of the Senate yesterday were a sequel to a motion brought under matters of urgent public importance pursuant to Orders 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Orders 2023 (as amended) by Senator Emmanuel Udende, APC, Benue North East, following the fresh attacks on the Benue communities.

Moves to have an urgent meeting with President Tinubu by the leadership of the National Assembly on the unending security problems bedevilling the country came after an exhaustive debate on fresh killings in Benue State.

According to the National Assembly, the planned meeting, as resolved by the red chamber, is to find lasting solutions to the mindless carnage in the land.

The proposed meeting with the President and other resolutions that are coming after the earlier one by the Red Chamber are to intimate him with the reports of security summits in the 8th and 9th Assemblies as well as the far-reaching resolutions of its recent engagements with the security chiefs.

Earlier in his presentation of the motion, Senator Udende lamented that no fewer than 50 persons have been killed in fresh attacks in the affected communities, adding that as of Tuesday, March 5, those attacked included Tyuluv, Borikyo, Kundav, Ugbaam, Uyam, Udedeku, Yaaiwa, Nyihemba, Tomatar, Menakwagh, Yiase, and Agura, all in the Benue North East Senatorial district of the state.

He said: “The residents of the villages and communities now find themselves targeted daily by heavily armed terrorist herdsmen, and the toll continues to be staggering as they bear the brunt, with reports of marauders butchering several villagers, leaving many homes completely burned down and numerous residents still missing, while the perpetrators, however, remain elusive and have not been apprehended.”

“This pathetic situation and development have inflicted untold hardship on women, children, and the elderly, who are trekking long distances in search of a haven and awaiting the intervention of security operatives.”

Senator Udende further lamented that the situation, in addition to the loss of lives and property, has already impacted negatively on the economic lives of the people and led to the shortage of farm produce, resulting in the astronomical rise in the prices of foodstuffs and inflation in the country.

However, he wondered that despite the public outcry and previous resolutions of the National Assembly as regards the criminal activities of these terrorists parading as herdsmen, there seems to be no visible action on the part of the government to curtail, abate, or totally stop their criminal activities.

Udende said, “The purpose of government is the security and safety of lives and properties in line with Section 14(2) b of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and there is an urgent need to act urgently.”

In his contribution, Senator Osita Ngwu, Enugu West, advised the federal government to seek what he referred to as political or cultural solutions to solve the security problem. Just recently, Senator Adamu Aliero (PDP Kebbi Central) expressed disappointment that despite huge budgetary allocations to security, there seems to be little or nothing to show for it, blaming it squarely on the poor oversights of relevant Senate committees.

He lamentably declared that he was already tired of coming to mourn the loss of innocent lives due to attacks by criminals.

Also in his contribution, Senator Sadiq Umar, APC, Kwara North, said that he was equally tired of going around the issue without meaningful solutions, even as he also faulted the legislative oversights by relevant Senate committees.

He said what Nigeria needs is to return to the ground, strengthen local communities, and trust them enough to address the issues. 

In his contribution, former President of the Senate and Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Ahmad Lawan, APC, Yobe North, advised the leadership of the Red Chamber to meet with President Tinubu, pointing out that huge budgetary allocations have always been made to the security agencies, and they should ensure efficient service delivery.