Reps to engage Buhari, security chiefs over killings

House of Reps
House of Reps

Members of the House of Representatives have resolved to engage President Muhammadu Buhari over his inability to end the recurrent killings and banditry across the country.

The lawmakers said the failure by the president to explain the issues raised by the house would confirm the opinion of some that the administration had failed in its responsibility to protect lives and property.

The lawmakers made this resolution at the plenary on Thursday after unanimously adopting a motion moved by Mark Gbilah (Benue, PDP).

Many states have witnessed several kidnappings and banditry in recent days.

The police recently launched an operation tagged “Puff Adder”, massively deploying personnel to troubled areas.

The operation was launched in Katari Bishin District, Abuja – Kaduna Expressway, where cases of kidnapping were reported throughout last week.

Dozens of motorists were feared kidnapped in a string of ambushes, including the one that held travelers to a standstill on Monday.

On Tuesday, travellers were attacked at the same portion of the dual carriageway, during which a top Nigerian Meteorological Agency official was seized.

Many of those kidnapped in both Monday and Tuesday’s attacks had not been freed as of Thursday night, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

Concerned lawmaker

The motion was tagged ‘Resurgence of the incessant and annual massacre of innocent Nigerians across the country by alleged bandits and killer herdsmen, the gradual occupation of affected communities by these attackers and the lack of adequate rehabilitation and relief materials.’

The lawmaker requested the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to address the House and the entire nation “within 48 hours.”

He wants Mr Buhari to explain to Nigerians “his inability and the inability of his administration, since inception, to declare the killer herdsmen as terrorists, to enable the Armed Forces to take commensurate action against them.

“The inability of the Armed Forces under his watch to stop the recurring death of scores of innocent Nigerians annually from systemic attacks by killer herdsmen and alleged bandits, and the gradual occupation of the affected communities by these herdsmen despite countless assurances and statements by him, promising to stop these attacks.”

The lawmaker accused the president of being selective in his responses “to cases like this.”

“His selective and ineffective responses to the killing of Nigerians by herdsmen, especially when they occur in certain parts of the country like Benue State.

“The immediate measures he intends to employ as the Commander-in-Chief to provide the Armed Forces, including the police, with the required resources (equipment and welfare, etc) to confront and dislodge the killer herdsmen from their known hideouts, establishment of permanent presence in immediate proximity to affected communities and provide a timeline within which these attacks by killer herdsmen and alleged bandits will be curtailed, so Nigerians can return to their ancestral homes and means of livelihood.”

House resolution

The House resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee to ‘interface’ with the presidency regarding the queries. It would also engage with the defence minister, Mansur Dan-Ali; service chiefs, state governments and others.

The engagement, the lawmakers resolved, would be done “in a public hearing to determine permanent solutions to the killing of innocent Nigerians by killer herdsmen and alleged bandits, including the complicity of any Nigerian or group in the perpetration of these killings and land grabbing.”

The House of Representatives in April 2018 resolved to summon President Buhari over similar spate of killings but with emphasis on Benue State and other parts of the country.

The 2018 decision was unanimously adopted by an overwhelming majority of members after a Kano lawmaker, Baballe Bashir (APC, Kano) moved for the amendment of a motion moved by Mr Gbilah.

However, after the last resolution, nothing was communicated to the president.

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