Buhari under fire over insecurity

Buhari under fire over insecurity

Five kidnapped at Zamfara girls secondary school Reps summon president, PDP seeks end to London visit• Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Arewa, M’ Belt Forum urge action Troubled by the worsening insecurity in the country, the House of Representatives yesterday summoned President Muhammadu Buhari. The legislative chamber wants Buhari to explain the measures he has put in place

Five kidnapped at Zamfara girls secondary school
Reps summon president, PDP seeks end to London visit
• Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Arewa, M’ Belt Forum urge action

Troubled by the worsening insecurity in the country, the House of Representatives yesterday summoned President Muhammadu Buhari. The legislative chamber wants Buhari to explain the measures he has put in place to restore peace.

The lawmakers’ move came against the background of bandits’ attacks on Daura, the hometown of Buhari in Katsina State on Wednesday. The attacks led to the abduction of Alhaji Musa Umar, the district head of Daura, reported to be the father of the wife to Buhari’s aide de camp.

The incident followed Monday’s kidnap of the board chairman of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Muhammed Mahmood, and his daughter along the Kaduna-Abuja highway.

And yesterday, the Police Command in Zamfara confirmed the kidnap of five persons at the Government Girls Secondary School, Moriki, in Zurmi Local Government Area of the state. The Police Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Shehu, however, clarified that no student was abducted.

Adopting a motion moved by Mr. Ali Madaki during the plenary session of the House presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the lawmakers also urged the authorities to declare a state of emergency in Safana/ Batsari/ Dan-Musa Federal Constituency to contain the deadly activities of the heavily armed bandits in the area.

Urging the security agencies to flush out criminal elements in the area, the House also urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently provide relief materials to those who fell victim of the attacks.

Madaki (PDP, Kano), whose motion was prompted by the one initiated by Ahmed Sefana, said it was unfortunate that the security situation in the country was worsening by the day in spite of several interventions by the National Assembly.

He urged the House to interface with President Buhari to proffer solutions to the problem of insecurity in the polity.

Dogara ruled in favour of the motion despite opposing voices from a section of the lawmakers who felt it was needless asking Buhari to appear before the House.

In his motion, Safana (Katsina: APC) lamented that the recent attacks on his constituents had reached an alarming stage as the perpetrators continuously kill innocent persons and set their homes ablaze while defenceless men and women are abducted.

He lamented the ordeals of residents of four villages in his constituency, including Kasai in Batsari Local Government Area where no fewer than five persons have been killed; Alhazawa in Safana Local Government Area; and Guzurawa in Safana Local Council, all in Katsina State .

He also said some persons were murdered in Gobirawa with no fewer than 12 bodies littering the bush, while many were still missing.

“These killings have continued unabated as these bandits seem to be unstoppable. At Gobirawa village in Safana local government, the bereaved villagers were forced to abandon the bodies during the burial and scampered for safety when they sighted the bandits coming back to launch another offensive.

“ These bandits who operate both at night and in broad daylight on motorbikes, parade sophisticated weapons, including AK 47 assault rifles, which they use in committing heinous crime against my constituents.”

He said despite persistent cries from the affected communities, the security operatives failed to respond to keep the peace.

Babale Bashir (Kano: APC) said he could not understand why the North was at the receiving end of the nefarious activities of bandits and kidnappers even when virtually all the service chiefs hail from the region.

He said there was an urgent need to probe not only the origin of the attackers but how they acquired the sophisticated weapons at their disposal.

According to Gabriel Onyerire (Anambra: APGA), the worsening insecurity underlines the fact that Nigeria is fast becoming a failed state, adding that the executive and not the legislative arm should be held responsible for the problem.

Abubakar Adamu Chika (Niger: APC) who broke into tears while baring his mind on the issue, lamented that he could no longer spend the night in his village out of fear for his life.

On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charged Buhari to end his “private visit” overseas and immediately return home to tackle the insecurity.

The party said it was unacceptable for Buhari “to practically abandon his responsibilities as the commander-in-chief, to pursue unexplained private matters in foreign lands, while bandits, marauders and insurgents seize our nation; maim, kidnap and kill our citizens with reckless abandon.”

A statement by the PDP through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday alleged that “President Buhari’s inattention has emboldened insurgents and bandits to continue to over-run communities, unleash mayhem and bloodletting on citizens in Borno, Zamfara, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe Taraba, Kaduna, Benue and Kogi states, including Katsina, his own state.”

According to the opposition party, “Within this period, marauders invaded communities in Adamawa and killed no fewer that 26 innocent Nigerians; many more have been killed in Borno, Taraba, Benue and Zamfara states, where bandits also reportedly attacked the Government Girls Secondary School in Moriki.”

PDP further claimed that “While the Buhari administration remains virtually nonchalant, kidnappers have taken over many of our major highways, with hundreds of compatriots held in captivity in forests along Kaduna-Abuja, Taraba-Katsina-Ala and other highways in the country.”

According to the PDP, Buhari has not demonstrated required capacity to control the security situation and so has “resorted to cheap escapism, particularly in the face of allegations in the public space that certain individuals around his administration are benefitting from the situation.

“This is in addition to allegations that some of the bandits arrested, in states such as Katsina, are not Nigerians but aliens allegedly imported by the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Niger Republic to assist it in unleashing violence and rigging the 2019 general elections.” The PDP urged the police to investigate this claim.

On what should be done to curb insecurity, an expert, Dr. Ferdinand Ikwang, canvassed the setting up of state defence services, saying this would prevent a conflict with the Federal Government since the 1999 Constitution, as amended, clearly designates the president as the one in charge of security and well-being of the people.

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