Politics

Insecurity: Senate again urges Tinubu to direct thorough review of security strategies

Senate

…..says parts of Katsina under bandits control

By Haruna Salami

Again, the Senate has urged President Bola Tinubu to direct a thorough review and evaluation of the strategies employed by security agencies in the North West region and also consider the deployment of additional security personnel/special task force to the identified hotspots to ensure the protection of lives and properties.

This was sequel to the adoption of a motion on “Urgent need to review security approach in addressing banditry attacks in Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna and Kebbi states in the Northwest of Nigeria sponsored by Senator Nasiru, Sani Zangon Daura (Katsina North).

The Senate noted that Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Kebbi states have been plagued by escalating banditry attacks, resulting in ‘loss of lives, kidnapping for ransom, displacement of communities and disruption of socio-economic activities;

The upper chamber also noted that the State Governments have allocated significant funds to augment the operations of the security agencies in combating banditry and restoring peace in the region.

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Zangon Daura recalled the collaboration and coordination among our state governments, security agencies and relevant stakeholders to develop holistic and sustainable solutions to the challenges posed by banditry in Northwest Nigeria.

He was concerned that the incessant banditry attacks on communities in Northwest region will “significantly impact food production and agricultural activities, jeopardizing food security and livelihoods of the people in affected States of the region, especially in the present raining season”.

Contributing to the motion, Senate Minority Leader, Abba Moro )Benue South) recalled that right from the 8th and 9th Senate the issue of security has been on the front burner of national discuss. In those days it used to be Boko Haram in the North East. Today it is banditry, herdsmen attack, kidnappings in the North West, North Central.

Moving down to South East, South West, similar occurrences rear their heads.

There was a time we said in this hallowed chamber that the time to take decisive action is now. I think the action required now goes beyond reviewing our security architecture, which was the subject of our security summit in the 9th Senate which could have put paid to this current situation that we find ourselves. From the 9th Senate to date, the issue of security is still a talk shop. It is dovetailing from security on the land into food insecurity, the greatest of all insecurities .

Moro said it has come to a point where the president would call a meeting of the stakeholders and lock themselves in a room “until they have found the solution, they shouldn’t come out”.

Senator Muntari Dandutse (Katsina South) said North West region is highly affected and the economic situation they are in is very unfortunate with 50,000 farms not accessible because of banditry and other criminality.

“In my senatorial district last week, these bandits, criminals and terrorists killed 122 people in Faskari, Bakori, Malunfasi and Kankara Local Governments. Also one of the wards in Faskari Local Government Area has been taken over by the bandits who now perform the functions security agencies, including escorts and the decide days people will be allowed to go out for legitimate duties.

“Unless we are honest, committed and have political will to deal with these criminal elements, because they are not above the law, as a matter of fact, if there is a coordinated and converted efforts of the security agencies in collaboration with state governors and local vigilantes, I believe it will be a thing of the past.

“On May 27, 2024, between Seme and Yankara in Faskari LG along Sokoto Road, the armed bandits in the early hours ambushed a newly acquired Armoured Personnel Carrier with rocket launcher and destroyed that very APC.

“The escalating violence and banditry in Katsina state and Northern region pose significant threat to all facets of development.

Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North), former Senate Leader said “the entire North West and North Central are on fire, there is virtually no security anywhere”.

He said all the senatorial districts of Kebbi state are not safe. “In fact some of my own political associates, indeed a very close political associate of mine has been kidnapped about three days ago. We have been trying to follow the kidnappers; we paid ransom and I’m afraid from the information we get from security agencies, they have killed the person with the associates”.

Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central) in his contribution said Nigeria has the best and most equipped military in Africa”, adding that “the entire bandits in the country are not more than 10,000 that are making life unbearable for 200 million citizens”.

He said President Bola Tinubu should give security chiefs a timeline to end insecurity or be shown the way out, just as he raised concern about complicity of security personnel in the war against insecurity.

“Give them what they need and timeline. If they know that they will lose their positions, they will sit up”.

For Neda Imasuen (Edo South), “we have been going round the circle and nothing will happen we try state police”.

He said they should ask ex-governors in the chamber if couldn’t have tackled insecurity if they had state police.

Abdulaziz Musa Yar’adua (Katsina Central), Chairman Senate Committee on Army lamented that “as at now, the capital component of the 2024 budget of the Army has not been released, asking rhetorically “with what do we expect them to fight the battle”.

The Senate also urged President Tinubu to direct the establishment of a task force to evaluate the effectiveness and implications of negotiating with bandits, conducting a thorough analysis of the short-term gains versus the long-term consequences of such actions.

“Urge the relevant security agencies to collaborate with the respective state governments, local communities, traditional leaders, and stakeholders to gather intelligence and enhance security operations in the affected areas.

“Call on the military/security agencies to be proactive and innovative in their strategies to secure farmlands so that farmers may return to their farms, thereby ensuring increased food production and food security, thus mitigating against the ever rising food inflation currently being experienced in the country”.

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