The Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits terrorists and wage war against them.
The decision of the Senate followed the consideration and adoption of a motion titled “Banditry in Sokoto State, Particularly Sokoto East Senatorial District”, sponsored by Sokoto Senator Ibrahim Gobir.
The lawmakers also asked the president to approve aerial bombardment of bandits and terrorist’s locations, to annihilate and eliminate them.
They further urged the president to declare all the known bandit leaders wanted and track them whenever they are for arrest and prosecution.
Senator Gobir, who sponsored the motion, said that Sokoto East Senatorial District had now become a haven for bandits due to the current onslaught against them in Zamfara State.
He recalled the killing of 21 security personnel last Saturday in Dama and Gangara and yet to be ascertained number of civilians from the neighbouring villages by rampaging bandits.
The gruesome murder, the lawmaker said, portrayed the seriousness of the problem, which required concerted and urgent action by the declaration of total war on banditry.
The lawmaker said he was worried that most of the bandits had now relocated to Sabon Birni and Isa Local Government Areas due to the sustained military operations at the Zamfara axis.
Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano) said the security situation in the country required a holistic approach, warning that the bandits may soon invade the nation’s capital if urgent and decisive action was not taken.
In her contribution, Senator Uche Ekwunife, PDP, Anambra Central, who decried the rising state of banditry and other forms of insecurity across the country, said that governments must rise up to its primary responsibility of protecting lives and properties.
She said the time had come for President Buhari and the executive arm of government to address the nation on the rising trend of insecurity in the country.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks, called for an upward review of armed forces allocation to N1 trillion to procure needed equipment to secure the country.
“Distinguished colleagues, I think the issue of insecurity is one we will never get tired of debating here, and we must commend our Armed Forces and other security agencies.
“They give their lives in trying to secure this country, and that is the ultimate sacrifice anybody could pay. I believe that they are doing their best, but we also need to do our best as a government by giving them the kind of resources that they need.
“I believe we have done that in the supplementary budget. As I pointed out earlier, we also need to improve the annual appropriation for them.
“If we could pass over N800 billion in the supplementary budget, I don’t see why we cannot improve the resources up to N1 trillion and then hold our security agencies accountable. And I believe we need to monitor the procurement processes when we give such kind of resources to our Armed Forces.
“The security related committees, particularly the armed forces related committees – Defence, Army, Navy and Airforce Committees need to work very closely on the procurement processes by these services.
“We must ensure that funds appropriated are not put in the wrong areas, and ensure that this fight is taken to its logical conclusion.” he said.
The Senate, accordingly, in its resolutions, urged President Buhari to declare bandits as terrorists and wage total war against them, including bombing all their locations to annihilate and eliminate them.
KanyiDaily had reported that a bandit leader, Kutaku, who was recently arrested by the police in Katsina, said he had lost count of people he kidnapped and killed.