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Senate Condemns Killings; Insists on State Police

Senate-in-session

Worried by the increasing insecurity in the country, the Senate on Wednesday, reiterated its call for the establishment of state police if the problem must be nipped in the bud, just as it condemned in very strong terms, the killings nationwide.

To tackle the unfortunate occurrences, particularly in Zamfara State, the Senate resolved to set aside N10billion in the 2019 budget as intervention fund to address the problem of insecurity in the state and cater for the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, and other person’s affected by the activities of armed bandits in the state.

It also called on the Federal Government to set up an ad-hoc committee to be known as Presidential Initiative on Zamfara State, PIZAMS, with a 10-year life span to manage the said fund and subsequent allocations.

This is coming on a day, 33 persons were killed in three local government areas of Katsina State, 11 of them, armed bandits.

This came as the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, met yesterday, to fashion out ways the Federal Government can tackle the rising insecurity in the country.

Spokesman of ACF, Muhammed Biu, who confirmed the meeting to Vanguard, said that members were deeply concerned over rising insecurity in parts of the North and had taken time to fashion out an agenda to help checkmate the trend.

Also, Sultan of Sokoto pledged to galvanize Northern traditional rulers to support the Police in fighting armed banditry and other crimes in the country.

Similarly, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai has called on the Adara and Fulani communities in Kajuru in the state to resist the temptation of retaliation against each other, saying it was not a solution to resolving their differences.

However, elder statesmen, Balarabe Musa, ABC Nwosu and Chekwas Okorie, said that the killings in the country were avoidable, noting that government has not done enough to check the development.

Senate condemns increasing insecurity

Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion by Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central), who said that the security in Zamfara State, had deteriorated and demands urgent national action and legislative intervention.

According to him, heinous activities of different categories of mindless criminals and killers in the state such as armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers etc, were creating serious humanitarian crisis in the state that must be addressed urgently.

Marafa said: “Since 2011, as a result of the unabated activities of the criminals in the state, roughly an estimated 11,000 males have been killed who left behind, average of 22,000 widows and by extension, 44,000 orphans. These figures are just by conservative estimates because the figures are far, far higher.

“The bandits, especially heavily armed kidnappers operate with little or no resistance in Gusau, the capital of the state, making less than 75 per cent of people in Zamfara not to sleep in their houses.”

Saraki on State Police

Speaking, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki who presided said: “From the contributions we have had, I think it is key that we begin to look at the problem and long-term solutions. I think what we did on Tuesday in trying to strengthen the funding of the police and what we have before us, the Police Reform Bill, which would be laid today, the sooner we can pass that, it will help us in addressing the insecurity challenges.

“But more importantly is that we must go back to what a lot of us have been advocating, that there is need for us to have state or community police. It is the way forward. Otherwise, we will continue to run into these problems. In the area of oversight, there is a lot also that we need to do to ensure that we hold the security agencies accountable. And we need to move very fast in this area.”

Earlier in his contribution, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who commended Marafa for always bringing the deteriorating security situation in Zamfara to the front burner of discourse in the Senate, stressed the need for state police and decentralization of the present police structure.

Also in his contribution, Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye (APC, Osun Central), noted that the problem with the country was the constitution itself, which by its provisions, puts on ground, an over centralized federation or better put, unitary system as against federal system of government.

Adeyeye noted that if the problematic constitution was not amended by way of removing police from exclusive list to concurrent list to pave way for state police, criminality at local levels will continue to increase.
Arewa Consultative Forum BOT meets, sets agenda for FG
On the ACF’s meeting, its Spokesman, Muhammed Biu, said: “We met as the BOT of ACF in Kaduna today (yesterday) and we discussed a number of measures, which we hope to discuss with the government to find lasting solution to the security challenges facing us as a nation.

“We are not going to make public our policy thrust until the National Executive Council of ACF, NEC, which is the implementing arm of the group, meets Wednesday next week to see what we have proposed and the way forward.”