Killings: Senators urge Nigerian govt to seek international help

Chambers of the Nigerian Senate used to illustrate the story.
Chambers of the Nigerian Senate used to illustrate the story.

Nigerian senators have urged the federal government to seek international help to end killings in several parts of the country.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West), made this call while contributing to a point of order raised by Suleiman Adokwe (PDP, Nasarawa South) concerning the most recent killings in Nasarawa State.

A few days ago, the police in the state confirmed five persons were killed in an attack on Kadarko village and environs in Obi Local Government Area.

The police said the attackers invaded the village at night and shot people indiscriminately.

Mr Adokwe called on the federal government to intervene in the matter adding that the killings were “unhindered and unabated for days right under the noses of the armed forces.”

While explaining what took place in Doma and Akwe local government areas, the senator stated that 32 persons had been confirmed dead and lamented the nation is “falling into anarchy.”

In his remark, Mr Melaye said the country is becoming a valley of death. He described the constant deliberations by the Senate on killings as ” customary, ritualistic and a pattern.”

“We should take these things beyond the rhetoric of presentation on daily basis. We are behaving as if we have kerosene flowing through our veins, not blood. Who is to protect the common man on the street? Who is to protect the palm wine tapper? Who is to protect the poor farmer in Ogbomoso? We should call a spade a spade.

“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must show capability as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. If we need international support, we should say so on time. If we need international collaboration we should say so on time. We should not be concentrating on creating funds for the army without looking at the police. Intelligence gathering in this country is dead.

“Events will happen, there will be signals that it would happen and they would happen and there would be no remedy. Before the masses begin to chase us, before they begin to destroy our vehicles and our homes, I think it is time we act and make hay while the sun shines,” he said.

He further advised the leadership of the Senate to “move and see the president and let him understand the magnitude and intensity of what is happening.”

Mr Ekweremadu said the killings have not been given the priority and attention they deserve as he wondered if America, United Kingdom or South Africa would let such menace linger before being abated.

He agreed with Mr Melaye’s suggestion as he said Nigeria should not be ashamed to ask for help.

“We should not be ashamed to ask for help. The President met with the UK Prime Minister and he was of the opinion that Britain would help us security-wise. America is also offering to help.

“We should not be reluctant to come out openly and say we need help, because what we have now is a global village. We cannot be asking people to come to Nigeria and invest their monies here. They will not! Rather, let us ask them to come and help us to solve our security problem. If we solve our security problem, they will come here, with nobody asking them to come. I think the first thing to do is to resolve the issue, and it is something we all need to do, and do it fast,” he added.

Another lawmaker, Ben Murray-Bruce (PDP-Bayelsa) frowned at how the federal government is more concerned with exposing looters and criminals than addressing security issues in the country.

“Everybody is looking at the context of who will die faster; which criminal will attack faster. The people who voted us into office did not vote to hear who is killing who; they voted for us to provide leadership for our country. Instead, we are engaging in debate about criminals, killings, maiming, looters and so on.

“Let nobody be surprised, if the same agreement presented in 1983 for military to take over is presented, and if they do, a lot of these people will be unemployed, and who would need to find a source of income.

“I am worried about the security of our people. People are dying, people are losing their jobs, democracy is being destroyed and we are all watching; riots all over the streets. I guarantee you that if we do not stop and fix our problem, they (people) will strike,” he said.

The senate, thereafter, referred the matter to an ad-hoc committee to investigate the cause of the killings and asked the relevant agencies to provide relief materials for the victims.

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