*Calls for arrest, prosecution of their leaders
The Senate Wednesday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, declare bandits as terrorists and wage total war against them wherever they were operating in Nigeria.
The apex legislative Assembly also urged President Buhari to give orders to the military to eliminate the terrorists by bombing their hideouts across the country.
The Senate further asked the President to immediately declare all known leadership of the bandits wanted, and track them wherever they were for arrest and prosecution.
These resolutions were made by the Red Chamber following its consideration of a motion on banditry in Sokoto, sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gobir (APC, Sokoto East).
While presenting the motion, the lawmaker lamented that Sokoto East Senatorial District had become a safe haven for bandits, following a crackdown on them by the military in Zamfara State.
He expressed his concern that last Saturday, 21 security personnel were killed in Dama and Gangara villages by bandits.
The lawmaker disclosed that out of those killed, 15 of them were soldiers; three mobile police officers and three members of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDC), in addition to the yet to be ascertained number of civilians from neighbouring villages.
He said: “This has gone to portray the seriousness of the problem which requires concerted and urgent action by the declaration of total war on banditry. Losing such numbers of trained security personnel will further deplete the numerical strength of the security personnel we have in the country, therefore jeopardizing the security architecture of the country.”
He added that most of the bandits had relocated to Sabon Bimini and Isa local governments due to the sustained military operation at the Zamfara axis, observing that while the crackdown on the bandits was taking place in Zamfara State, no concrete measures had been taken in Sokoto State, leaving it totally exposed to the activities of bandits.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, commended the efforts of the Armed Forces in the sustained fight against insecurity in the country.