Nigerian senators debated the insecurity around the country on Wednesday, with Adamawa lawmaker, Binos Yaroe, saying majority of the kidnappers in the country were of the Fulani ethnic group and they were getting support from the elites of the ethnic group.
The deliberation on “general insecurity in Nigeria” started as any other activity in the Red Chamber.
It would be the umpteenth time that the Senate will be debating insecurity and insurgency in the country – most of which are borne from recent cases of killings and kidnappings in many states.
Last year, they spent most of their time debating the same issue. On three occasions, they asked President Muhamadu Buhari to sack the former service chiefs whom they said had overstayed their time and were bereft of new ideas to tackle insurgency. They made the first call call in January 2020. A similar call was made in July. And the third call was made in December of the same year.
They also asked the president to either rejig, restructure, remodel or reposition the nation’s security architecture.
The presidency on January 26, announced the resignation of the former service chiefs and prompted appointed their replacements.
During Wednesday’s debate, the Deputy Senate Leader, Ajayi Boroffice, referred to recent reports of killings in nine states in January 2021 alone. They include Ondo, Edo, Oyo, Imo and Kaduna States.
Others are Zamfara, Niger, Nasarawa and Kebbi States.
He said security challenges have led to issuance and counter issuance of eviction notices by some ethnic entrepreneurs and groups posing as ethnic nationalists and champions and that even though many perpetrators of killings, kidnappings and banditry are illegal immigrants, they are harboured and nourished by Nigerian informants, collaborators and arm suppliers.
Lawmakers thereafter, took turns to make their contribution.
When it was the turn of Mr Yaroe, the senator representing Adamawa South on the platform of the PDP, he generated murmurs in the chamber when he started by saying the motion should be titled ‘the menace of Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria.’
Every time kidnappers are arrested, he said, seven or eight turn out to be Fulani.
“It is so because the Fulani men are being encouraged or allowed to do whatever they like. Recently, a Fulani herder was accused of causing mayhem and kidnapping a district head and in his response, he said, ‘we are not learned, we don’t know anything.
“The only thing we know is to graze our cows in the bush, it is you learned Fulanis that buy guns and give us and send us on missions. These people are being supported in high places. It must stop”.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, was forced to caution him. Mr Lawan warned lawmakers not to stick the conversation to a particular ethnic group.
“Distinguished colleagues, I have to say this, let’s not stick this kind of case of insecurity to an ethnic group, please.”
Many other lawmakers who contributed either faulted the federal government for doing very little to address the security situation in the country. Only Lagos lawmaker, Adeola Olamilekan, commended the president for appointing new service chiefs.
The lawmakers, thereafter, urged the president to direct the National Security Adviser, the Inspector General of Police and the new service chiefs to devise a proposal to rejig the nation’s security architecture and dispose of forces for more effective counter measures against the current security challenges.
They also urged the federal government to embark on an operation to checkmate proliferation of firearms and enforce the laws against illegal possession of firearms by arresting, disarming and punishing anyone in illegal possession of arms, and for state governors to implement the National Livestock Transformation Plan – a modern scheme designed to eliminate transhumance in order to prevent farmer-herder conflicts and activate highly productive livestock sector in Nigeria.
In another resolution, they asked the federal government to review the ECOWAS protocol on the free trade agreement to help check the influx of criminals into the country.
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