The Senate, on Tuesday, mandated its leadership to schedule an appointment with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to enable all 109 Senators meet with him in a closed session to discuss security matters in the country.
This was just as the chamber resolved to summon the Service Chiefs to brief lawmakers on steps taken so far to address the rising spate of insecurity in the country.
It also mandated the Joint Committees on Foreign Affairs; Defence and National Security to engage the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd) and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, on the regional implications of the recent development in Chad.
These formed part of resolutions reached, following a motion on the deadly activities of bandits and Boko Haram terrorists in some Local Government Areas of Niger State and other parts of Nigeria.
Coming under Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, sponsor of the motion, Senator Sani Mohammed Musa (APC, Niger East) raised alarm that for seven years, “Niger East Senatorial District of Niger State have come under constant and sustained multiple deadly attacks by heartless, venomous and hydra-headed Boko Haram terrorists who are always heavily armed with assorted sophisticated and dangerous weapons unleashing their horror on our innocent populace.”
According to the lawmaker, the negative effects of atrocities committed by the terrorists have led to a collapse of the local economies and educational system in the affected areas.
He added that, “about 42 communities across the two Local Government areas of Shiroro and Munya Local Government have so far fallen under the Boko Haram control with about 5,000 villagers already displaced in the last three days.”
“They have kidnapped many and their wives seized from them and forcefully attached to Boko Haram members.
“Three military camps In Allawa Bassa and Zagzaga in the two local government areas have been sacked and some security personnel killed by the insurgents in the last one month of renewed attacks.
“I can authorItatIvely confirm that the Boko Haram terrorists have mounted their flags in many of the villages they have captured such as Kaure, Alawa and Magami.
“Inhabitants of these war-torn parts of the State have been abandoned and left to their fate thereby compelling them to wallow in perpetual agony and abject misery”, Senator Musa said.
The lawmaker disclosed further that, “at this moment primary schools in Gwada, Kuta, Pandogari and Minna have hurriedly been turned to IDP camps following the sacking of nearly 5600 villagers from their ancestral homes in Shiroro, Rafi and Munya tocai government areas in the last few weeks by bandits who raided the towns over the weekend. And what this means is that if they can launch attacks without hindrance in Niger East Senatorial District, then I don’t see how Abuja is safe anymore.
“Again note, before the recent Bandits struck Kagara headquarters of Rafi Local Government, Madaka-Gari, Maikujeri, Magami, Zangouru, Bassa, Gusoro, Galadiman Kogo and Kokki villages where all attacked with casualties more than 46 people killed.
“[And] between March 2021 to date same terrorist have launched serial attacks on daily basis to adjoining villages of Alawa, Shakodna, Chiri, Kwaki, Ajatayi, Gwassa, Barden Dawaki and Gyammamiya communities in Munya and Shiroro local Government Areas of Niger State killing many innocent people which also resulted to the loss of more than 25 Gallant soldiers, mobile policemen and other security personnel, while more than 16 civilians were killed, many others unaccounted and leaving over 2300 displaced, while over 1500 are now sheltered at Primary Schools turned temporary camps at Brena, Galadiman-Kogo and Zumba. The number of persons said to have been killed by bandits in Niger East are over 475 between January 2020 to date.
“Aware that the Federal Government had made frantic efforts in curbing the menace through various Operations to tackle cases of terrorism, banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping across Nigeria, but yet the expected return of peace in our land Is unattainable.
“Further ware that confirmed reports emanating from those affected areas of Allawa and Bassa towns in Shiroro local government Niger State indicated that the Joint Security Task Force stationed there have been withdrawn.
“However, no reason has been advanced for the withdrawal, but observers believe it will not be unconnected with the casualties suffered by the JSTF during the last unfortunate invasion and ambushing of the troops stationed at Alawa by the heartless, venomous and hydra-headed terrorists.
“Worried that the continuous security challenges and related attacks by bandits in towns, villages and communities in Shiroro, Rafi and Munya Local Government Areas of Niger State have meted untold hardship on the people and has subjected the affected areas under serious survival threat.
“If this menace is not drastically addressed, the attacks will continue, and the danger is that it may escalate further to other communities, which are mostly farming communities, and the farmers may desert their farms this season and this will negatively affect the food sufficiency and economic diversification policy of the Federal Government.”