Senators Charge Federal Government To End Militia And Ethnic Killings
Members of the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly, have charged security operatives to be more awake to their responsibilities of protecting lives and property of Nigerians.
The Senators, spoke against the back drop of incessant killings and clashes between farmers and herdsmen in various parts of the country, particularly in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states.
The senators, while speaking during plenary on Wednesday, also said the country stands the risk of loosing major foreign direct investment if the security situation is not tackled.
Their submission, follows a motion moved by Senator Suleiman Adokwe (Nasarawa-South) over the continued killings in his senatorial district.
“Throughout the weekend to this moment, herdsmen have unleashed mayhem on the people of my senatorial district, leaving many dead bodies, numerous injured persons and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons”, Adokwe said.
“The victims are largely the Tiv speaking ethnic nationalities, with a reported dead toll of 32 persons, and we are still counting.”
He further described the attacks as “a well -coordinated and simultaneous carnage” across Awe, Obi, Keana and Doma Local Government areas of the southern senatorial district.
“The tragedy is that for four days running, this mayhem has continued unhindered, unchecked, unstopped by any arm of the law and security enforcement agencies.
“Indeed, right under the nose of the armed forces and the police, this killing is sustained by sheer negligence or refusal to act by the security agencies. It is very sad that in Nigeria, with all the security forces, a whole senatorial district will go on being punished by militia and no action coming from government.”
He said, “It is no wonder that very eminent Nigerian citizens have urged Nigerians to defend themselves because their security is in their own hands and no longer in the hands of the Nigerian security forces.
“I am very emotional on this matter and I am not one given to emotion very easily. But what I have gone through this weekend is very horrifying; it is very distressing and sad. It is as if we are in a lawless society where life is brutish; where there is absence of state powers. We call on the Federal Government to stop this carnage.”
Several senators, including Senator Barnabas Gemade who spoke on the killings, accused security agencies as well as President Muhammadu Buhari of not doing enough to end the attacks.
The debate on the motion, lasted about one hour.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, said the lawmakers need to support the federal government in finding a solution to the challenge of killings by herdsmen and militias across the country.
Ekweremadu said, “If we have nobody to represent, nobody will have a job here. So, security is more important than any other thing that we do here.
“If it gets to a level where we have to shut down this National Assembly and sit down with the executive for as long as it lasts to resolve the problem, we will have to do that.”
“I ask myself: assuming this is happening in America, in the United Kingdom or France, will it take all this time to be resolved? Not even in South Africa. But it appears that we are taking too many things for granted. The time has come for us to seek help from other countries. We should not be ashamed to ask for help.”