Declare bandits as terrorists, bomb them, Senate tells Buhari

Ahmed Lawan

Following worsening insecurity in Nigeria, the Senate on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits as terrorists and wage total war against them.

The Federal Government and northern governors have been mute on labelling bandits ravaging the north as terrorists.

The upper legislative chamber also urged Mr Buhari to order the bombing of all locations housing bandits in the country.

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

Senators resolved that the president should declare all known leaders of bandits wanted and arrest them for speedy prosecution.

Leading debate on the motion, 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 September 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.

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

Also, the Senate urged the National Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies to give support to victims of banditry in Sokoto State and in other parts of the country.