By Hillary Asemota
The Senate on Wednesday urged the Federal Government toas a matter of urgency, send fighter jets to flush out terrorists in their hideouts who are behind the kidnappings and killings of Nigerians.
The call was made during plenary in resolutions reached following a point of order raised on the “Urgent need for the Federal Government to take drastic actions to bring to an end the act of banditry and kidnapping in Faskari Local Government Area.”
The point of order was raised by Senator Bello Mandiya (Katsina South)
Relying on Order 41 and 51 of the Senate Rules, Mandiya noted that the act of banditry and kidnapping has become a daily incidence in Katsina with huge consequence of loss of lives, means of livelihood and displacement of communities.
The lawmaker recalled that, “on Sunday, 31st January, 2022, gunmen struck Ruwan Godiya, a Community in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State where 38 members of the community were kidnapped.
He stated that the Federal Government had made frantic effort in curbing the menace by setting up Operation Sharan Daji and Inter-Agency Task Force to tackle cases of banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping in Katsina States.
“Worried that the continuous security challenges and related attacks by bandits on towns, villages and communities in Faskari Local Government Area have meted untold hardship on the people and have subjected the affected areas under serious survival threat; and
“Further worried that if this menace is not drastically and promptly addressed, the consequence is going to be huge on food sufficiency since the affected communities are mostly farmers.” Mandiya said.
Contributing, Senator Kabir Abdullahi Barkiya (Katsina Central), faulted the inability of the military to contain the situation despite several calls for it to act.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks said the repeated cases of kidnappings and killings makes it imperative for the military to “wake up” to protect Nigerians.
He wondered why full scale action was yet to be carried out by the military in spite of increased funding for security in the 2022 budget by the Executive and National Assembly.
He said, “The expectation of the Senate is that there is supposed to be a remarkable difference in success in terms of the fight against insurgence, banditry and militancy in Nigeria.
“The military is getting better funding from the government and what we expect is to see an improvement in output.
“I know the resources are not enough, but recently for one and a half years, government has upscaled the level of funding for our military.
“Secondly, when we declared the bandits as terrorists, my understanding was they are going to be dealt with ruthlessly now. I wonder whether that is the case.
“The military like some of our colleagues have said, need to wake up. We want to see a difference because we have made a difference in terms of funding.
“I know funding alone will not be enough, but funding can make a difference and we expect a difference in outcome.
“Thirdly, we need to mobilise our citizens, because when a hundred people are kidnapped and abducted, they are not taken by aircrafts, they are taken by motor bikes, pass through the villages and possibly towns, how come do we then say that nobody has seen something?
“We need our citizens to be part and parcel of our security architecture. In fact, there’s no way we can achieve better security for this country without the participation of the citizens in the fight against Insecurity.”
Accordingly, the Senate urged the Security Agencies to comb all known hide outs of the kidnappers in a bid to rescue the 38 persons abducted by the gunmen in Ruwan Godiya.
It also called on the Federal Government to send enough military personnel and fighter jets to apprehend the bandits and restore normalcy in the affected areas.
The Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate, Mr. Ezrel Tabiowo, signed the statement on behalf of the SP.