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Killings: Reps give Buhari 48 hours to address House, nation

The House of Representatives has
requested President Muhamnadu
Buhari to address the House and
the nation within 48 hours.

This followed a motion under
matters of public importance by
Rep Mark Gbillah (PDP-Benue) at
Thursday plenary, presided over
by Speaker Yakubu Dogara in
Abuja, NAN reports.

Moving the motion, Gbillah, who
represents Gwer-East/Gwer-West
Federal Constituency, said the
House was concerned by I
creasing attacks by “killer
herdsmen and alleged bandits in communities in Benue, Kaduna,
Zamfara and other states from
Jan. till date.”

He noted that this had resulted in
the loss of hundreds of innocent
lives and the displacement of
thousands of Nigerians who had
fled their homes and means of
livelihood for fear of losing their lives.

”The House is alarmed at the
brazen nature of the attacks by
the herdsmen and alleged bandits
who attack these communities
with impunity brazenly clad in
military fatigues and audibly communicating with each other in
Fulani as reported by eyewitness
accounts from the recent attacks
in Kaduna.

”Obviously emboldened by the
inability of the Nigerian armed
forces to curb their activities,
these killers have gradually
progressed from attacking
remote villages at night to sacking whole towns in brood
daylight displacing residents and
occupying affected
communities,” he said.

According to him, the House is
disappointed at the reactive
responses of the Nigerian armed
forces to these attacks under this
administration and their inability
to proactively attack the publicly known locations of these
herdsmen or establish a
permanent base at restive
locations in line with globally
recognised rules of engagement.

The lawmaker also expressed
worry over the inability of the
National Emergency Management
Agency (NEMA) to fulfil its
statutory mandate of providing
relief materials and rehabilitation to hopeless displaced persons and
their affected communities.

He stressed that the House could
no longer condone the continuous
killing of innocent Nigerians with
impunity despite the plethora of
motions and resolutions passed
on the floor of the House and the Senate.

”We have no other option than
to directly engage the President
and Commander In Chief of the
Armed Forces who has primary
responsibility for the security and
welfare of every Nigerian citizens,” Gbillah stated. When the motion was put on a
voice vote by the Speaker,
Dogara, the whole members
unanimously supported it. The lawmakers, however,
resolved that President Buhari
should “address the House and
the nation within 48 hours on: his
inability and the inability of his
administration since inception to declare the killer herdsmen as
terrorists to enable
commensurate action against
them by the armed forced.

”The inability of the armed
forces under his watch to stop the
recurring death of scores of
innocent Nigerians annually from
systematic attacks by killer
herdsmen and alleged bandits and the gradual occupation of affected
communities by these herdsmen
despite countless assurances and
statements by him promising to
stop the attacks.

”His selective and ineffective
responses to the killing of
Nigerians by herdsmen especially
when they occur in certain parts
of the country like Benue.

”The immediate measures he
intends to employ as the C-In-C to
provide the armed forces,
including the police with the
required resources (equipment,
welfare, etc) to confront and dislodge the killer herdsmen from
their hideouts.

”The measures he intends to
employ to establish permanent
presence in immediate proximity
to affected communities and
provide a timeline within which
these attacks will be curtailed so Nigerians can return to their
ancestral homes and means of
livelihood, among others.”

The House resolved that if the
president failed to respond to
aforementioned requests within
48 hours, he and his
administration would be seen as
incapable of permanently curtailing the incessant killing of
innocent Nigerians by killer
herdsmen and the occupation of
their land. It added that the government
would be termed to have failed in
its primary constitutional
responsibility of ensuring the
security and welfare of the
citizens of Nigeria.

The House, therefore, constituted
an ad hoc committee to interface
with the Presidency and engaged
the Minister of Defence, Chief of
Defence Staff. service Chiefs,
among others, in a public hearing to determine permanent solutions
to the menace.


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