Insecurity: NASS leadership to meet Tinubu as terrorists kill 50 in Benue

Insecurity: NASS leadership to meet Tinubu as terrorists kill 50 in Benue

Following the killing of over 50 people in fresh attacks on some communities in Benue State by suspected terrorists and the rising insecurity across the country, the Senate on Wednesday reached a resolution asking the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly to urgently seek audience with President Bola Tinubu to find lasting solutions to the security challenges facing the country.

This was even as the Red Chamber urged the Service Chiefs and heads of other security agencies to, as a matter of urgency, deploy security personnel to address the continuing and ongoing attacks by armed terrorist parading as herdsmen on communities in Kwande, Ukum, Logo and Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas of Benue State.

The lawmakers asked the security agencies to flush out the terrorists and restore normalcy to the affected communities, and also invest in surveillance technology and equipment to detect and prevent future attacks.

The proposed meeting with the President is to intimate him with the reports of security summits during the 8th and 9th Assemblies, as well as the far-reaching resolutions on the Senate’s recent engagements with the security chiefs.

The resolution followed a motion brought under matters of urgent public importance, pursuant to Orders 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Orders 2023 (as amended) by Senator Emmanuel Udende (APC, Benue North East) following the fresh attacks on the Benue communities.

Leading debate on the motion, Senator Udende lamented that no fewer than 50 persons have been killed in fresh attacks in the affected communities, adding that as at Tuesday, March 5, the communities attacked include Tyuluv, Borikyo, Kundav, Ugbaam, Uyam, Udedeku, Yaaiwa, Nyihemba, Tomatar , Menakwagh, Yiase and Agura, all in the Benue North East Senatorial District.

He said, “The residents of the villages and communities now find themselves targeted on a daily basis by heavily armed terrorist herdsmen, and the toll continues to be staggering as they bear the brunt, with reports of marauders butchering several villagers, leaving many homes completely burnt down and numerous residents still missing while the perpetrators, however, remain elusive and have not been apprehended.

“This pathetic situation and development has inflicted untold hardship on women, children and the elderly, who are trekking long distances in search of a safe haven and awaiting the intervention of security operatives.”

Senator Udende further lamented that the situation, in addition to the loss of lives and property, has already impacted negatively on the economic lives of the people and led to the shortage of farm produce, resulting in the astronomical rise in the prices of foodstuffs and inflation in the country.

He wondered that despite the public outcry and previous resolutions of the National Assembly as regards the criminal activities of terrorists parading as herdsmen, there seems to be no visible action on the part of government to curtail, abate or totally stop their criminal activities.

The lawmaker maintained that “the purpose of government is the security and safety of lives and properties in line with Section 14 (2) b of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and there is need to act urgently”.

In his contribution, Senator Osita Ngwu (PDP, Enugu West) advised the Federal Government to seek what he referred to as political or cultural solutions to solve the security problem.

Also, Senator Adamu Aliero (PDP, Kebbi Central) expressed disappointment that despite huge budgetary allocations for security, there seems to be little or nothing to show for it, blaming the situation squarely on poor oversights of relevant Senate committees.

According to him, he was already tired of coming to mourn the loss of innocent lives due to attacks by criminals.

Speaking in the same vein, Senator Sadiq Umar (APC, Kwara North) said he’s equally tired of going round the issue without meaningful solutions even as he also faulted the legislative oversights by relevant Senate committees.

He said what Nigeria needs is to return to the basics, strengthen local communities and trust them enough to address the issues.

Former Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who currently serves as Chairman Senate Committee on Defence, in his contribution, advised the leadership of the Red Chamber to meet with Tinubu, pointing out that huge budgetary allocations have always been made available to the security agencies and they should ensure efficient service delivery.

The Senate, in other resolutions, called for the review of security architecture in the affected areas to forestall the continuous attacks.

It also urged the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to immediately mobilize relief materials to the people displaced by the attacks in Kwande, Ukum, Logo and Katsina-Ala LGAs of Benue State.

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