New Telegraph

February 29, 2024

Send fighter jets to flush out terrorists from hideouts, Senate tells FG

The Senate Wednesday urged the Federal Government to send fighter jets to flush out terrorists from their hideouts.

The chamber also condemned the kidnapping of 38 people in Katsina State by bandits.

And the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, wondered why the military had yet to start a large-scale offensive despite increased funding for security in the 2022 budget.

The Senate expressed these positions following a point of order raised on the “Urgent need for the Federal Government to take drastic actions to bring to an end the act of banditry and kidnapping in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State”.

The point of order was raised by Senator Bello Mandiya representing Katsina South.

Citing Orders 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Orders, Mandiya said banditry and kidnapping had become daily occurrences in Katsina, with loss of lives, means of livelihood and displacement of communities.

He said: “On Sunday, 31st January 2022, gunmen struck Ruwan Godiya, a community in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State, where 38 members of the community were kidnapped.”

Senator Kabir Abdullahi Barkiya (Katsina Central) faulted the inability of the military to contain the situation in spite of several calls to act.

Senator Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi Central), who said the security situation had become a national disgrace, lamented that the Senate approved a supplementary appropriation of over N865 billion in 2021 and N1 trillion budgeted for security in the 2022 budget, yet a little result was achieved.

According to Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East), what happened in Faskari is the same thing as what is in his constituency.

In his contribution, Lawan said recurrent cases of kidnapping and killings had made it imperative for the military to “wake up” to protect Nigerians.

He said: “The expectation of their Senate is that there is supposed to be a remarkable difference in success in terms of the fight against insurgency, banditry and militancy in Nigeria. The military is getting better funding from the government and what we expect is to see an improvement in output.

“I know the resources are not enough, but recently for one and a half years, the government has scaled up the level of funding for our military. Secondly, when we declared the bandits terrorists, my understanding was they are going to be dealt with ruthlessly now. I wonder whether that is the case.

“The military, like some of our colleagues have said, needs to wake up. We want to see a difference because we have made a difference in terms of funding. I know funding alone will not be enough, but funding can make a difference and we expect a difference in the outcome.”

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