The Senate on Tuesday appealed to President Buhari to expand his recent directive of major military operation to sweep bandits and kidnappers out of Katsina state to also include Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger and Sokoto States and any other surrounding States that the armed bandits may want to seek safe haven following the massive operation.
The upper chamber also called on the Military formations and the Nigerian Police to increase their surveillance operation to track movements by these armed bandits to recent them accessing any safe haven.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent directive to launch a military offensive against bandits in Katsina State.
The resolutions were sequel to a motion considered on the floor on the need to integrate adjoining States of Niger, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kebbi and Sokoto states in the military onslaught against the bandits
The motion was sponsored by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC – Niger North).
The lawmaker in his motion recalled that Senate had last week Tuesday, May 12, 2020, considered two separate motions on the need for the federal government to immediately address the growing spate of banditry in Niger and Kataina States, respectively.
Senator Sabi Abdullahi said the upper chamber was “aware through a Presidential Spokesman that President Muhammadu Buhari has authorized the commencement of a major military operation to sweep bandits and kidnappers out of Katsina state; as major proactive measures by Special Forces to replace the reactive strikes against the camps of these bandits and criminals
According to him, “the criminalities by these armed bandits and kidnappers is carried out mostly under the cover of the contagious forests reserves and areas stretching from Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger States with pockets of safe havens in Kebbi and Asokoro states.”
The lawmaker expressed concerns that “a major offensive in Katsina State alone is likely to make the armed bandits and kidnappers seek safer haven in Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger states which hosts the Zurmi and Kamuku forests among others, further compounding the plight of hapless and poor communities along these forest corridors.”
He added that, “it was the earlier massive operations in Zamfara and Kaduna states that led the armed bandits to seek safe haven elsewhere, thus moving into Katsina and Niger States respectively; and some others pushing their luck to some parts of Sokoro and Kebbi States.
Senator Ibrahim Gobir ( APC Sokoto East), while seconding and contributing to the motion said the people of his constituency are now at the mercy of Nigerien Soldiers for protection against armed bandits, as Nigerian Army has completely abandoned them.
Senator Gobir said Sokoto incidences are worse than any other parts of the country .
According to him, within the last three months , not less than 300 people in Sokoto East Senatorial District, have either been killed or kidnapped by the rampaging armed bandits on daily basis .
” The situation in Sokoto East as far as armed banditry is concerned, is pathetic and tragic because it is only Nigerien Army that had been coming to their rescue while the Nigerian Army looks the other way round .
” Infact , based on very reliable and verifiable information from the area, many at times, that the people of the affected areas called on Nigerian Army for help and protection against the bandits, no response .
” But graciously , the Nigerien Army has been assisting in wading off the bandits, the very reason while not less than 5,000 people in the affected areas have migrated to Niger Republic for safety”, he said .
He lamented further that aside the 300 people who had fallen victim of banditry attacks in the area through kidnapping or outright killing, hundreds of cows and other animals have been rusted by the bandits the worth of which is about N2.5billion .
” Fallout of this is grinding poverty ravaging the affected people in form of serious hunger since their cows and other animals are on daily basis being stolen and even made from some of the cows they hurriedly sold .
” The situation is so bad that we only get help from Niger Republic and not from Nigeria at all, be it from the Military or the Police .
” The affected people cannot be perpectually be at the mercy of Nigerien Soldiers and still expected to proudly see themselves as Nigerians .
” Very urgent drastic action is required from President Buhari through the military in form of expansion of anti- banditry operation currently being carried out in Zamfara and Katsina State to Sokoto State “, he said .
Credit: The Guardian