Again, Reps summon Buhari over killings, banditry

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The House of Representatives on Thursday summoned President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation on measures being taken to tackle the rising cases of killing, banditry, armed robbery and kidnapping in parts of the country.

The House had on April 11, 2019 extended the same invitation to the President, giving him 48 hours ultimatum to personally speak to the people. Almost one month after, the President is yet to do so.In a similar move, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) charged President Buhari to end his ‘private visit’ abroad and immediately return home to face the rising security challenges in the country.

The House’s latest resolution on the matter was taken at the Thursday plenary during the presentation, consideration and adoption of a motion titled “Urgent Need for Federal Government’s Intervention on the Ongoing Wanton Killing of Innocent Persons, Destruction of Properties, Armed Robbery and Kidnappings by Heavily Armed Bandits Operating Within Safana/Batsari/Dansamu Federal Constituency”.

 

The motion was sponsored by Ahmed Dayyabu-Safana, member representing Safana/Batsari/Dansamu Federal Constituency of Katsina State. Dayyabu-Safana, while moving the motion, stated that some villages within his constituency had been serially attacked with many people killed by armed bandits.

He said that as an immediate step in containing the evil activities of the heavily armed bandits, the President should urgently declare a state of emergency in the federal constituency.

The House notes with dismay the ongoing attacks on various communities within

Safana/Batsari/Dansamu Federal Constituency of Katsina State by heavily armed bandits who continuously unleash mayhem against my constituents on daily basis,” he said.

“The House also notes that the recent spate of the said attacks on members of my constituency has reached an alarming stage as the perpetrators of this dastardly act continuously kill innocent persons in my constituency and set their homes ablaze while defenceless men and women are abducted to an unknown destination,” he added.

Dayyabu-Safana said up to four villages within his constituency had been under attack in the last 48 hours, including Massa Village in Batasari LGA, where no fewer than five persons had been killed, Alhazawa Village in Safana LGA, which had been totally displaced, Guzurawa village in Safana LGA, where several persons were murdered in cold blood, and Gobirawa Village where no fewer than 12 dead bodies were found in the bush while many were still missing.He said the killings had continued unabated and the bandits “seem to be unstoppable with a specific instance at Gobirawa Village in Safana LGA where the bereaved villagers were forced to abandon the corpses during the burial and scampered for safety when they sighted the bandits coming back to launch another offensive”.

He said the bandits “operate both at night and in broad daylight on motorbikes” and parade “sophisticated weapons including AK 47 assault rifles and other dangerous weapons which they use in committing heinous crimes against my constituents”, adding that “despite persistent cries from the affected communities, the security operatives appear not being proactive especially on security tip-off and most times fail to respond promptly”.Other members who contributed to the debate on the motion urged the executive arm of government to take the lead and lead Nigeria out of the present state of insecurity.

In his remarks, Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House, said it was necessary to invite the President for an address since the issue of banditry has become national. Adopting the motion, the House called on the Federal Government to deploy the military to the areas under attack to assist the police and other security agencies in flushing out the criminal elements operating in the constituency.
It also called for the declaration of state of emergency in the area while urging the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently provide relief materials to the victims of the attacks.

On its part, the PDP said it was completely unacceptable for President Buhari to abandon his responsibilities as the Commander-in-Chief to pursue unexplained private matters in foreign lands while bandits, marauders and insurgents seize the country, maim, kidnap and kill citizens with reckless abandon.

A statement by Kola Ologbodiyan, PDP national publicity secretary, on Thursday said the President’s inattention has emboldened insurgents to overrun the country.
It lamented that Buhari has stood aloof while bandits unleashed mayhem in Borno, Zamfara, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba, Kaduna, Benue, Kogi as well as the President’s home state of Katsina.

“While President Buhari wanders abroad, bandits are having a field day, pillaging communities in Katsina state; killing several persons and abducting the district head of his hometown, Daura, Musa Umar; the father in-law of Mr. President’s security aide.

“Within this period, marauders invaded communities in Adamawa and killed no fewer than 26 innocent Nigerians; many more have been killed in Borno, Taraba, Benue and Zamfara states, where bandits also reportedly attacked Government Girls Secondary School Moriki and kidnapped some school girls,” the statement said.

The party called on President Buhari to immediately return home and use the remaining part of his tenure to seek help instead of wandering abroad under the guise of private visits.

 

JAMES KWEN & OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja

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