Following the unruly reign of terrorism by bandits in Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and other Northwestern states, the Senate, asked President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday to declare them as terrorists in the country.
The Senate also asked the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to wage a total war against the criminals, including bombing all their hideouts, to destroy and erase them, while also declaring all known leadership of the bandits wanted and trace them wherever they are for arrest and prosecution.
These constitute part of the Senate’s resolutions after considering a motion sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gobir Abdullahi (Sokoto East), and co-sponsored by eight other senators.
During the plenary headed by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, the lawmakers called for a declaration of total war against bandits and further directed related Federal Government agencies to give all vital support to victims of the danger of banditry in Sokoto and other parts of the country.
While moving the motion, Abdullahi raised the alarm that his Senatorial district has now become a safe haven for bandits due to the current crackdown in Zamfara.
According to him, last Saturday, 21 security personnel were murdered in Dama and Gangara villages by rioting bandits, in addition to yet to be verified number of civilians from neighbouring villages.
He said this characterized the gravity of the dilemma, which requires concerted and urgentcal action by the declaration of total war on banditry.
“We are worried that losing such number of trained security personnel will, apart from depleting the numerical strength of the security personnel we have in the country, dampen the morale of our security agents in confronting insecurity, thereby jeopardising the security architecture of the country. He added.
“We are concerned that while there is crackdown on bandits in Zamfara State, no concrete measures have been taken in Sokoto State, leaving it totally exposed to the activities of the bandits.
“We are further worried that the present military onslaught on the bandits is not well coordinated because it is only being orchestrated in Zamfara instead of all the frontline states ravaged by banditry, i.e. Sokoto, Katsina, Niger and Kaduna. The operation should be holistic instead of restrictive produce effective and desired results.”
The Senate President, who conveyed concern over the problem, regurgitated the resolve of the National Assembly to appropriate more funds to attack the menace of insecurity.