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Take battle to bandits, others, Senate tells Service chiefs

•Kidnap suspects shot dead after shoot out with security operatives on Benin-Auchi road

The military should take the battle to bandits, the Senate said yesterday.

It urged the Federal Government to deploy fighter jets to flush out terrorists from their hideouts.

These were some resolutions taken after a debate on worsening insecurity in the country.

Bandits have been on the rampage in Northwest states of Kaduna, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara and Niger State in the Northcentral, killing hundreds and displacing communities.

The Kaduna State government said bandits killed 1,192 persons and kidnapped 3,348 last year.

Over 18 people, including soldiers, were killed and 40 injured when terrorists invaded Galadima Kogo community in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State at the weekend.

Last Sunday, gunmen abducted 38 people from Ruwan Godiya  community in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The Senate resolutions followed a debate on a motion: “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.”

It was sponsored by Senator Bello Mandiya.

The Senate urged security agencies to comb all known hideouts of kidnappers in Katsina to rescue 38 abducted villagers.

The Federal Government, it said, must take drastic action to end insecurity.

Lawan said the cases make it imperative for the military to “wake up” to protect Nigerians.

He believes a full-scale action should have been carried out by the military considering the increased security funding.

Lawan said: “This Senate expects that there is supposed to be a remarkable difference in success in terms of the fight against insurgency, 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, the government has upscaled the level of funding for our military.

“Secondly, when we declared bandits as terrorists, my understanding was they are going to be dealt with ruthlessly now. I wonder whether that is the case.

“The military, as 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 the outcome.

“Thirdly, we need to mobilise our citizens, because when a hundred people are kidnapped and abducted, they are not taken by aircraft; they are taken by motorbikes, pass through the villages and possibly towns. How do we then say that nobody has seen something?

“We need our citizens to be part and parcel of our security architecture. There’s no way we can achieve better security for this country without the participation of the citizens in the fight against insecurity.”

Senator Kabiru Barkiya (Katsina Central), said the hideouts of terrorists are known.

He urged the Federal Government to order a bombing to flush them out.

Barkiya said: “After declaring the bandits as terrorists, we shouldn’t allow them again to continue their rubbish act. We have to look at it critically.

“Security agents are doing their best but to me, they need to do more. How can the bandits just go and kidnap 38 people in a single community?

“Can’t we just order the soldiers to enter the bush and just bomb all of them? Our condemnation of banditry activities every day is not enough.”

Mandiya said the act of banditry and kidnapping had become a daily incidence in Katsina, with communities displaced and lives lost.

The resolution added: “The Senate further notes 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.

“The Federal Government had made a frantic effort in curbing the menace by setting up Operation Sharan Daji an inter-agency task force to tackle cases of banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping in Katsina state.”

Yesterday in Edo State, security operatives shot dead three suspected kidnappers who engaged them in gun duel on the highway to Abuja.

The Senate said it was “worried” about the “continuous security challenges and related attacks by bandits on towns, villages and communities in Faskari Local Government Area”.

It said the situation has resulted in “untold hardship on the people and have subjected the affected areas under serious survival threat”.

“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,” the Upper Chamber added.

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