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Nigeria is in a State of War, Reps tell Buhari

Members of the House of Representatives, Thursday, called on Speaker Yakubu Dogara to impress on President Muhammadu Buhari to know that Nigeria is in a state of war where injunctions of patience do not hold water. This came as the Senate, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to mandate the Air Force and Police Helicopter Division to carry out aerial surveillance of Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi states to identify locations and hideouts of bandits.


Speaking on a motion on the state of insecurity in the land, following the massacre of more than 30 persons in Sokoto last Monday, members across party and ethnic lines lamented what they described as the laid-back posture of the administration and its security services in the wake of the killings. The motion, sponsored by Aminu Shagari, was appraised as the 80th of such taken in the House since the advent of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.


Moving the motion yesterday, Shagari stated that on July 9, 2018, armed bandits invaded some villages in Rabah Local Government Area, maimed and killed about 32 persons and also destroyed houses of the villagers. “The armed bandits (had) issued threat letters to the villagers, warning them to pay some millions or risk being attacked, prior to the invasion by about 100 of the armed bandits on motorcycles, using guns. They also used improvised explosive devices suspected to be petrol bombs in carrying out their dastardly act,” he said.


Insisting that the Federal Government has failed the people, Shagari said:  “Mr. Speaker, honourable colleagues, our government is failing. It has failed in its primary responsibility of safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens. Everyday we come here, it is one thing or the other. Mr. Speaker, only a fool does the same thing over and over again and expects to get a different outcome from the previous act.” Several lawmakers took turns to reprimand the administration’s response in deprecating terms.


Meanwhile, the Senate, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to mandate the Air Force and the Police helicopter division to carry aerial surveillance of Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi states to identify locations and hideouts of the bandits. According to the Senate, this move will help deal with the bandits decisively. The Upper Chamber also called for synergy among the Department of State Services, DSS, the Police and the armed forces in order to share intelligence and strategies to embark upon to get rid of the criminals. The Senate, while condemning the gruesome killing of 40 people in Sokoto State by armed bandits  on Monday morning at Dogpn-Yeri in Gandi District in Raba Local Government Area of the state, also advised the Inspector General of Police, lGP, Ibrahim Idris, through the Commissioners of Police in the three states, to set up a special squad to mop up the whole zone and get rid of the armed bandits.


The Senate resolutions Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion by Senator Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi Central), entitled “Gruesome killing of 40 people in Sokoto State by armed bandits.” It was co-sponsored by Senator Aliyu Wamakko (APC, Sokoto North). The Senate observed one minute silence in honour of the departed souls, just as it asked the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to send emergency relief to the affected communities. The Upper chamber also resolved to send a delegation to condole with the government and people of Sokoto State over the unfortunate incident.


Presenting the motion, Senator Aliero noted with sadness the gruesome and unprecedented killing of innocent and defenceless 40 people in Sokoto by armed bandits last Monday morning. He said:  “These armed bandits are operating in Zamfara forest where they carry out nefarious and barbaric killing of innocent people over a period of two years. “They moved with motorcycles that carry up to three people.  In all, there were about 30 of these motorcycles, meaning that the armed bandits were up to 90. “The armed bandits sent two people to the village to buy food for them and the villagers observed that the emissaries were armed and they were interrogated by the villagers and found to be armed bandits similar to the ones operating in Zamfara. The villagers apprehended and executed the two emissaries.”


Senator Aliero further said the armed bandits sent advance notice to the villagers that they were coming to retaliate the killing of their people, adding that chairman of the local government and the village head alerted the law enforcement agencies on the notice of the bandits. “Security was provided for a period of five days after which they were withdrawn.  Immediately the security agencies were withdrawn, the armed bandits moved in and started killing indiscriminately, using AK-47 rifles. “The situation now is that most of the villagers have left their homes out of fear and so many are still stranded in the bush, not to mention the injured ones still in the hospital and others rendered homeless,” he lamented.


In his contribution, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, APC Sokoto Central, warned that if urgent steps were not taken by the government, the killings might spread to other districts, and, therefore, called for the establishment of Army depot in the area to forestall further reprisal attacks. Also, Senator Abdullahi Danbaba (APC, Sokoto South) lamented that attacks and counter attacks had been going on in the state for about seven years and urged the federal and state governments to find a lasting solution to the problem.


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