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‘Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, Rivers Still Under Siege’

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Senators yesterday decried the continued banditry, killings and kidnappings, declaring that Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, Rivers and other states are still under siege.

The senators who revealed some scary tales on various heinous crimes in their states and constituencies, said young girls are being kidnapped in Sokoto State on a daily basis while bandits killed and burnt corpses in Rivers state.

Coming on order 43 during plenary yesterday, the Senator representing Kaduna Central, Sen Shehu Sani(PRP Kaduna) said last week in Birnin Gwari, a local government under his constituency, a pastor and 15 other worshippers were kidnapped in a church.

According to  Sani, even though the police have been able to arrest some suspects, the crime was still persistent.

Sani said in nearby Katsina State, two local governments were attacked by bandits including Jibiya, calling for concerted efforts to stem the problem.

Also coming from order 43, Sen Ibrahim Gobir (APC Sokoto) said there was no day young girls were not kidnapped in the state.

He said recently, out of about four local governments raided by bandits, over 13 young girls were kidnapped.

He mentioned the names of the local governments to include Isa, Goronyo, Gudu.

“We have to deal with this problem,” Gobir said of the killings, banditry and kidnappings in the country.

Also speaking, Sen Andrew Uchendu (APC Rivers) said on a daily basis, people were being beheaded or killed in Rivers state with their corpses burnt.

He said kidnappings and killings which started few years ago in the Niger Delta had not only spread to all the states of the region  but now in the entire country as a result of leadership failure.

“People are being killed and burnt. Killings in Rivers state is under reported,” Uchendu said, adding that as a senator, he can’t sleep in his house in the village that is just 20 kilometers away from Portharcourt.

Moving a motion titled: “Frightening Killings In Rivers,” Uchendu said the killing of innocent citizens  had been the bane of Rivers State for more than a decade now, recalling that the killings assumed a very dangerous trend before, during and after the 2015 general elections, where it was alleged that more than 250 persons were killed.

Uchendu expressed worry that the nature of killings in the state assumed a more horrendous dimension by the decapitation and/ or dismembering of body parts, including beheading of victims.

“A new twist has now being added to this sacrilegious conduct by not only killing by beheading but also by having the corpses burnt.

“At about 9.00pm on Sunday, 19th May, 2019, unknown gunmen invaded Isiodu Community in Emohua LGA, Rivers State and killed three young men aged between 23 and 30 and unashamedly burnt the corpses.

These killings spread across the length and breadth of Rivers State.

“During the last interaction between the Senate and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, I stated emphatically that kidnappings and killings have become a way of life in Rivers State.

“In Rivers State, life has become more brutish and worthless, since anybody can be killed, kidnapped or abducted at any time of the day.

No meaningful strategy has been put in place to check this unbridled development in the polity,” he said.

The lawmaker, however, regretted that traditional rulers and community heads who are neither in control of the police, the army nor the resources are being held responsible to check kidnapping and killings in their own community.

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who presided over the plenary pointed out that the issue of insecurity must be dealt with frontally and should not be politicised.

Saraki said the government and the police are doing their best in the Northwest but it should be intensified.

Contributing, the deputy Senate leader, Sen Bala Ibn Na’allah said if serious actions were taken when he raised the issue on the floor of the House of Representatives some years ago, the issue wouldn’t have degenerated to the present level.

He said people don’t respect the laws of the land and that is why criminals are on the increase, adding that the menace is not caused by poverty.

“Sadly today, senators Gobir raised the issue, Shehu Sani raised the issue. The signs are not too good for us but we can reverse the situation,” Na’allah said.

Sen Osinachukwu Ideozu (Rivers) said they can’t go to Kaduna and other states because of insecurity.

“The security architecture have failed. Investors can’t come. This should not be a Rivers issue. This is a Nigeria issue and we must find a solution to the general insecurity,” he said.

Barau Jibrin( Kano North) said with the current happenings with young men holding dangerous weapons, they must call a spade a spade.

During his contribution, Sen Victor Umeh (APGA Anambra) said the horrendous killings will continue because the government has not made it unattractive.

“If we don’t get to the people who do these things, parade them and send them to where they belong, the issue will continue. The governors must do something. This killings is going on in the states and the governors forum is not doing anything. If they kill and you get some of them, punish them, it will stop,” Umeh said.

He said the issue should not be left for the police alone, adding that governors must put money on security.

“They should use their security votes to provide security. Some governors have ran away from their states while killing is going on. This can’t be tolerated in this century. If you put money in the investigation, within three days, you will get the results,” he said.

The senate president, Saraki said the issue of criminals must be dealt with decisively.

“The acting Inspector General of Police promised us the last time he was here that the issue will be addressed. The Police must work together with the federal government because we know that they are doing their best in the Northwest and that should be intensified,” Saraki said.

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