Declare bandits as terrorists, wage serious war against them – Senate tells Buhari

 The Senate on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits as terrorists and wage total war against them.

It also told the president to bomb all bandits’ locations to annihilate them.

It urged President Buhari to declare all known leaders of bandits wanted and arrest them wherever they were for speedy prosecution.

The resolution was sequel to a motion on banditry in Sokoto State, particularly at Sokoto East Senatorial District sponsored by Sen. Ibrahim Gobir (APC-Sokoto) and co-sponsored by eight senators.

Leading debate on the motion, Sen. Gobir noted that Sokoto East Senatorial District had become a safe haven for bandits escaping from the military crackdown on them in Zamfara.

He said it was of serious concern that on Sept. 25, rampaging bandits killed 21 security personnel in Dama and Gangara villages in the area.

The senator said 15 of those killed were soldiers, while three each were from the Mobile Police Force and from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

He said that there was yet to be ascertained number of civilians from the neighbouring villages that were also affected by the attack.

“This has gone to portray the seriousness of the problem which requires concerted and urgent action by the declaration of total war on banditry,’’ he stressed.

Sen. Gobir added that it was worrisome that losing such number of trained security personnel would further deplete the numerical strength of the security personnel in the country.

He said that most of the bandits had relocated to Sabon Birni and Isa Local Government Areas in Sokoto State due to the sustained military operations at the Zamfara axis.

He observed that while the crackdown on the bandits was taking place in Zamfara, serious measures were not taken to protect neighbouring Sokoto State, leaving the latter totally exposed to bandits.

He also expressed worry that the present military onslaught on bandits was not well co-ordinated because it was concentrated only on Zamfara.

Sen. Uche Ekwunife (PDP-Anambra) said government must rise to its primary responsibility of protecting lives and properties.

She said it was time President Buhari addressed the nation on the rising trend of insecurity.

Senate also urged the National Emergency Management Agency and other relevant Federal Government’s agencies to give support to victims of banditry in Sokoto State and in other parts of the country. (NAN)