OrderPaperToday – The senate has been told of further devastation of communities in Niger State where no less than 42 communities and 500 villagers have been displaced by the terrorist boko haram sect.
This disclosure was made by Sen. Musa, Mohammed Sani (APC, Niger East) in motion at the senate on Tuesday. The motion opened another floodgate of lamentations by the senators who ended the mournful session with the repeated ritual of one minute silence observed for those killed.
This development is coming a day after the Governor of Niger, Mr. Abubakar Bello raised the alarm that following the increasing presence of the terrorists and the hoisting of boko haram flag in his state and the devastation being unleashed the people, Abuja, the seat of power is no longer safe.
In a motion titled, “Urgent Need for Federal Government to Deploy Troops and Other Security Apparatus to Immediately Bring to an End the Menace of Insurgency and Terrorism in Niger State and Other Parts of Nigeria”, Sen. Sani stated that the issue of insecurity has taken a dangerous dimension.
He then proceeded on a disturbing narration thus: “About 42 communities across the two local government areas of Shiroro and Munya Local Government have so far fallen under the Boko Haram control with about 5,000 villagers already displaced in the last three days.
“They have kidnapped many and their wives seized from them and forcefully attached to boko haram members. Three military camps in Allawa, Bassa and Zagzaga in the two local government areas have been sacked and some security personnel killed by the insurgents in the last one month of renewed attacks.
“I can authoritatively confirm that the boko haram terrorists have mounted their flags in many of the villages they have captured such as Kaure, Alawa and Magami. Inhabitants of these war-torn parts of the State have been abandoned and left to their fate thereby compelling them to wallow in perpetual agony and abject misery.
“Primary schools in Gwada, Kuta, Pandogari and Minna have hurriedly been turned to IDP camps following the sacking of nearly 5600 villagers from their ancestral homes in Shiroro, Rafi and Munya local government areas in the last few weeks by bandits who raided the towns and villages. And what this means is that if they can launch attacks without hindrance in Niger East Senatorial District then I don’t see how we can be safe Abuja anymore.”
He said further that “bandits struck Kagara headquarters of Rafi Local Government, Madaka-Gari, Maikujeri, Magami, Zangouru, Bassa, Gusoro, Galadiman Kogo and Kokki villages were all attacked with casualties as more than 46 people were killed.
“And between March 2021 to date same terrorist have launched serial attacks on daily basis to adjoining villages of Alawa, Shakodna, Chiri, Kwaki, Ajatayi, Gwassa, Barden Dawaki and Gyammamiya communities in Munya and Shiroro local Government Areas of Niger State killing many innocent people which also resulted to the loss of more than 25 gallant soldiers, mobile policemen and other security personnel, while more than 16 civilians were killed, many others unaccounted and leaving over 2300 displaced, while over 1500 are now sheltered at Primary Schools turned temporary camps at Erena, Galadima-Kogo and Zumba. The number of persons said to have been killed by bandits in Niger East are over 475 between January 2020 to date.”
The senator also went down history lane, saying, “almost seven years now Niger East Senatorial District of Niger State has come under constant and sustained multiple deadly attacks by heartless, venomous and hydra- headed boko haram terrorists who are always heavily armed with assorted sophisticated and dangerous weapons unleashing their horror on our innocent populace”.
He also noted that negative effects of atrocities committed by these heartless monsters in the period under review include among others, total collapse of the local economies of the affected victims, total collapse of educational system in the affected areas, famine due to collapse of agricultural activities, displacement as a result of desertion of crisis prone areas, depopulation as a result of wanton deaths, social vices such as drug abuse and thuggery emanating from struggle for survival, trauma arising from serial rape cases and inhumane, cruel and deadly subjugation.
Unfortunately, these repeated attacks are taking place amidst absence of slightest hindrance, resistance or confrontation from the authorities concerned, the senator further lamented, adding:
The Niger senator also mentioned that the Federal Government had made frantic efforts in curbing the menace through various operations to tackle cases of terrorism, banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping across Nigeria, but yet the “expected return of peace in our land is unattainable. And this call for a total review of the nation’s security architecture as proposed in the report of the senate ad-hoc committee on security.”
Continuing, he said: “Confirmed reports emanating from those affected areas of Allawa and Bassa towns in Shiroro local government, Niger State indicated that the Joint Security Task Force stationed there have been withdrawn.
“No reason has been advanced for the withdrawal but observers believe it will not be unconnected with the casualties suffered by the JSTF during last unfortunate invasion and ambushing of the troops stationed at Alawa by the heartless, venomous and hydra-headed terrorists.
“The continuous security challenges and related attacks by terrorist on towns, villages and communities in Shiroro, Rafi and Munya Local Government Areas of Niger State have meted untold hardship on the people and has subjected the affected areas under serious survival threat.
“If this menace is not drastically addressed, the attacks will continue and the danger is that it may escalate further to other communities which are mostly farming communities and farmers may desert their farms this season and this will negatively affect the food sufficiency and economic diversification policy of the Federal Government.”
Senators who contributed to the motion resorted to another round of lamentations over the spate of killings, kidnapping and general insecurity consuming the country and urged security agents to device new means of tackling the menace.
They noted that the Senate has made several resolutions, appropriated funds, set up ad-hoc committees on security and declared every support at bringing an end to the persistent insecurity in the nation, yet security has continued to elude the nation.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu) asked the Federal Government to seek foreign help to fight insecurity in the country, adding that any government that fails to protect its citizens has lost its legitimacy.
On his part, Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi West), expressed worries over the incessant killing and kidnapping in the country, adding that traveling from one state to another is becoming very difficult
He lamented that the nation is bleeding and collapsing, maintaining that employing mercenaries abroad is the only solution to the challenges bedeviling the country.
Senator Bima Enagi (APC, Niger East) said similar motions have been raised before without any tangible result, saying: “This situation has been so bad; our women can’t go to the market or fetch water and our men can’t go to the farm. Niger can’t wait for 30 years as said by the former Chief of Army Staff. This is shameful. Federal Government is treating this security situation with kid’s glove”.
On his part, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo), asked rhetorically: “What practical steps have we taken? we must invite countries that can help us,” adding that “there is no hiding place. My office and house are known”.
After the lamentations, the Senate resolved to do the following:
“Call on the Chief of Defense Staff, the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police to immediately deploy troops to defend the unarmed populace and bring back security to the affected communities, which is the only antidote to restoring confidence in the security and safety of the affected communities.
“Urge the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police to as a matter of urgency direct for the establishment of a permanent military and police command base at the axis adjoining Shiroro and Rafi Local Government areas respectively and to redesign the modus operandi of the military operations within the affected areas so as to curtail the escalating insecurity.
“Direct the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and NEMA to as a matter national emergency provide relief materials and medical support team to the victims immediately.
“Call on the Senate to observe a minute silence for all the victims of these callous acts of criminality.”
This newspaper reports that these resolutions have been rehashed over again by the senate with nothing meaningful resulting therefrom.