Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 29 April 2016 | 1,795 times
The Nigerian Senate has directed security agencies to increase intelligence and investigation of the killings by herdsmen across the states, and equally directed the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) to make relief materials available to those affected by these killings.
This followed the motion arising from the Point of Order raised yesterday by the Senator representing Enugu North Senatorial Constituency, Senator Chukwu Utazi, while reacting to the continued killing of innocent people in his constituency by invading Fulani herdsmen.
Contributing to the debate, Senator Ben Murray Bruce of Bayelsa East said he feared the time when retaliation to these killings would begin.
According to Senator Bruce, “You need to have a licence to own a gun because when vendetta starts, things will go very awry and out of control.”
“Government must immediately take action to stop the madness before it goes out of proportion and not just talk. Talking only will not solve this situation,” he added.
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, representing Abia North, in his contribution stated that the masqueraders disguising as herdsmen are killing people, and advised the Nigerian Police Force to step up its vigilance and intelligence gathering. He added that Nigeria’s extremely porous borders is not helping in curtailing the killing spree, stressing the need to avoid reprisals.
Speaking also, Senator Isah Misau, who represents Bauchi Central, said that “these killers are actually not Fulani as they come from other countries to attack soft targets.” Misau added that these killings are happening because the Nigerian Police are not properly motivated to do their job, and that insurgents are moving from the north-eastern part of the country to other regions.
The Senate leader, Ali Ndume, who represents Borno North, consoled the people of Senator Utazi’s constituency, stating that the government must play a role to take care of the security and welfare of the people.
Opposing the view of Senator Isa Misau, who claimed the perpetrators of the evil were from another country, Ndume said: “I find it hard to believe that people from Niger, Mali will come into Nigeria to kill people.” He added that the country needs to take serious and immediate steps to resolve this senseless killing of Nigerians.
Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, in his reaction, went into the history of how united Nigeria was and lamented: “We are now worse than we were before the civil war.”
Senator Adeyeye called for the establishment of local and state police instead of the police issuing orders from Abuja. “Local government needs to become actual government in its own rights, but not appendages of State Government to do its local work,” he stated.
Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who supported the idea of local policing, remarked: “Senator Adeyeye has dissected the issue rightly as there is the need for local vigilantes. The claims that these killers are from Niger, Chad or Mali is a political statement as 95% of them are Nigerians. This was how the Nigerian Civil War began and it wasn’t taken seriously. But this should be taken very seriously now.”
He added that “even if the matter requires that the Senate goes into closed door session or enacting a law, it is worth it.”
•Photo shows the Senate in session.
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