Declare Bandits as terrorists, Senate tells Buhari




President Muhammadu Buhari with Senate President Ahmed Lawan

 

The Senate, Wednesday, told President Muhammadu Buhari to declare Bandits as terrorists with attendant total war against them.
Classification of bandits as terrorists by the Senate came on the heels of killings being carried out by bandits across the three Senatorial zones of Sokoto State .
Massive killings of innocent lives in Sokoto State totalling about 500 within the last two months , was brought to the attention of Senators by Senator Ibrahim Abdullahi Gobir (APC Sokoto East ), through a motion sponsored along with eight other Senators.
Senator Gobir in the motion titled: “Banditry in Sokoto State”, said the eastern senatorial district of the state has now become a safe haven for bandits due to the ongoing crackdown against them in Zamfara State.
He specifically lamented that on Saturday September 25, 2021, 21 Security Personnel were killed in Dama and Gangara villages by rampaging bandits, 15 of them Soldiers, 3 Mobile Police and 3 members of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps; in addition to yet to be ascertained number of civilians from the neighboring Villages. 
This he explained, has gone to portray the seriousness of the problem which requires concerted and urgent action by the declaration of total war on banditry by the federal government of Nigeria.


According to him, losing such number of trained Security Personnel will further deplete the numerical strength of the Security Personnel we have in the Country, thereby jeopardizing the security architecture of the country.
He said: ” No section of the State within the last two months has not been attacked in one way or the other  by the bandits with attendant loss of innocent lives totalling about 500 when figures are put together from one affected community to the other.
“Not less than 50,000 Nigerians have hurriedly relocated to Niger Republic as a result of incessant attacks of armed bandits on their communities.
“While the crackdown on the bandits was taking place in Zamfara State, no concrete measures have been taken in Sokoto State leaving it totally exposed to the activities of the Bandits which made most of them to  relocate to Sabon Birni and Isa Local Governments.” 
He lamented further that the present military onslaught on the bandits is not well co-ordinated because it is only being orchestrated in Zamfara State instead of all the front line States ravaged by banditry, i.e. Sokoto, Katsina, Niger and Kaduna states. 

“The operation should be holistic instead of restrictive in order to produce effective and the desired results,” he stressed. .

Virtually all the Senators Uche Ekwunife ( PDP Anambra Central), Ali Ndume (APC Borno South) etc , called on government and security agencies to make the war against banditry and insurgency in the country, a well coordinated and potent one.  The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks said though the security agencies are doing their best in curtailing crimes and Criminalities in the country but intensification of such efforts are needed at this critical time in the affected areas…

He said: “Distinguished colleagues, I think the issue of insecurity is one issue we will never get tired of debating here, and we must commend our Armed Forces and other Security Agencies. .

“They give their lives in trying to secure this country, and that is the ultimate sacrifice anybody could pay..

“I believe that they are doing their best, but we also need to do our best as a government by giving them the kind of resources that they need.  .

“I believe we have done that in the supplementary budget like pointed out, but we also need to improve the annual appropriation for them. .

“If we could pass over N800 billion in the supplementary budget, I don’t see why we cannot improve the resources up to N1 trillion and then hold our security agencies accountable. “[And] I believe that we need to monitor the procurement processes when we give such kind of resources to our Armed Forces…

“The security related committees, particularly the armed forces related committees – Defence, Army, Navy and Airforce Committees need to work very closely on the procurement processes by these services..“We must ensure that funds appropriated are not put in the wrong areas, and ensure that this fight is taken to its logical conclusion.” The Senate in its resolutions , also urged President Buhari to declare all the known leadership of the bandits wanted and track them wherever they are for arrest and prosecution; and as well directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)  and other disaster management outfits, to as a matter of urgency,  give all the necessary supports  to the victims of the menace of banditry in Sokoto and other parts of the country.

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