As a way of tackling the security challenges in the country including banditry, herdsmen killings, amongst others, the Senate, on Wednesday, urged the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), to immediately deploy more security personnel to affected communities especially in the South-West geopolitical zone.
The upper legislative arm stressed that the move was imperative to avert a looming humanitarian crisis likely to occur as a result of the displacement of residents in Ogun State and other troubled states.
The Senate also charged the National Emergency Management Agency, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the Border Communities Development Agency to undertake an ‘on-the-spot’ assessment of the affected communities with a view to determining the extent of the problem and providing relief to the affected persons.
These formed part of resolutions reached by the Senate after it considered two separate motions on the displacement of residents following the invasion of their communities by bandits and suspected herdsmen.
Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (All Progressives Congress, Kebbi Central) in the first motion noted with concern the rising humanitarian situation in Bena, Kebbi State, arising from the activities of bandits in neighbouring Zamfara State which shares a border with Kebbi State.
According to the lawmaker, “the internally displaced persons from about 17 villages in Zamfara sharing the border with Kebbi State have moved to Bena, wasagu, mage areas with no arrangements for an Internally Displaced Persons camp and are scattered all over, making it difficult to cater for their welfare.”
Accordingly, the Senate while urging the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to, as a matter of urgency, establish IDP camps in Bena and render support to those affected; charged the National Security Adviser and all agencies involved in internal security to increase deployment of security agencies to reverse the ugly situation.
Coming under Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, Senator Tolu Odebiyi (APC, Ogun West), in a separate motion recalled the recent spate of attacks by suspected herdsmen on communities in Yewa area of Ogun State.
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The lawmaker noted that, “many of these attacks by suspected herdsmen on the area remain perennial, owing to the near absence of police and other security personnel in the affected communities;
Contributing, Senator Rochas Okorocha (APC, Imo West), urged Nigerians to unite against the perpetrators of criminality by refusing to associate the various criminal activities with any region in particular.
He said, “The happenings in the South-West, vis-à-vis issue of herdsmen has become a recurrent decimal, and literally what we discuss almost every week at this red chamber.
“Mr. Senate President, I’m a bit concerned that this issue is gradually creating a wall of division in our country. Hence, in the handling of this matter, we must be absolutely very careful.”
The Senate, accordingly, called on the emergency responders to assess the affected communities with a view to determining the extent of the problem and providing relief to the affected persons.
The Upper Chamber while calling on the concerned authorities to pursue and put in place necessary mechanism for the reparation and relocation of the affected peoples and communities; urged the authorities of the Nigerian Police Force to see to the provision of Police Post(s) and ensuring police presence in these communities, so as to ensure security and rekindle the people’s confidence.