Senate asks Buhari to declare bandits as terrorists
……as Lawan pledges improved security funding
The Nigerian Senate Wednesday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to place bandits on the same pedestal as terrorists.
Adopting a motion jointly sponsored by Sen. Gobir, Ibrahim Abdullahi at plenary presided by the Senate President Ahmad Lawan, the lawmakers called for a declaration of total war against bandits and terrorists, including bombing all their locations to annihilate and eliminate them.
The Senate further demanded the arrest and prosecution of bandits responsible for the loss of lives and properties in the northern part of the country.
The lawmakers also directed NEMA and other relevant Federal Government Agencies to, as a matter of urgency, give all the necessary support to the victims of the menace of banditry in Sokoto and other parts of the country.
Abdullahi (Sokoto East), while moving the motion on behalf of 8 of his colleagues raised the alarm that his senatorial district has now become a safe haven for bandits due to the current crackdown taking place in Zamfara State;
He pointed out that on Saturday, 25th September 2021, 21 security officials were killed in Dama and Gangara villages by rampaging bandits. 15 of those killed were soldiers, 3 mobile policemen and 3 members of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps; in addition to yet to be ascertained number of civilians from the neighbouring villages.
“We are worried that 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,” Abdullahi said.
“Worried that most of the bandits have now relocated to Sabon Birni and Isa Local Governments due to the sustained military operations at the Zamfara axis;
“Concerned that 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; and
“Further worried 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.”
The Senate President who expressed concern over the situation reiterated the resolve of the national assembly to appropriate more funds to tackle the menace of insecurity in the polity.
Recalling the appropriation of N800 billion in the recently signed supplementary budget, he hinted that the national assembly may appropriate N1 trillion to security agencies in the country in the 2022 budget.
He said it was incumbent on the senate committees of Army, Navy, Airforce to ensure judicious usage of appropriated funds through the discharge of their oversight duties.