The Senate on Tuesday restated the need for President Muhammadu Buhari to declare total war on terrorists as a matter of urgency.
The red chamber disclosed this at plenary, when it also observed a minute’s silence for those dead in an attack launched by bandits on Guni, Munyan Local Government Area of Niger State.
It also ordered the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to send relief materials and medical teams to the surviving victims.
The resolutions of the senate were sequel to a motion, titled, “Recent Bandit attack in Guni, Munyan Local Government Area of Niger State, resulting to Boat Mishap,” sponsored by a Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Sani Musa.
Musa said, “The Senate notes that a boat conveying residents of Guni town capsized in Guni-Zumba River, killing about 20 persons escaping attacks by bandits in Niger State; notes also that the victims, including women and children from Guni in Munyan Local Government Area, were said to have lost their lives on Wednesday morning.
“Observes that the incident comes amid attacks by gunmen across communities in Niger State, which has resulted in killings, abductions, and displacement of scores of residents; observes also that the incident occurred when bandits simultaneously invaded the two communities, forcing the locals to flee;
“Worried that the attacks by armed groups have continued in the North-west and North-central Niger State, despite repeated government assurance to address the escalating atrocities; and
“Worried also that these unscrupulous elements have continued to issue statements via radio and people, security agencies, as well as the government, are all aware of their threats and nothing is being done.”
In September last year, the Senate asked President Buhari to declare bandits as terrorists in the country. The upper chamber also asked the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces to wage a total war against the criminals, including bombing all their locations, to annihilate and eliminate them.
Besides, they also told Buhari to declare all known leadership of the bandits wanted and track them wherever they are, for arrest and prosecution.
In November, the Federal High Court in Abuja declared the activities of bandits’ groups as acts of terrorism.
The verdict strengthens the call on the federal government to declare bandits ravaging the North-western and the North-central regions as terrorists.
However, the menace keeps going from bad to worse.
Mohammed Abubakar, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation, had filed an ex-parte application seeking to proscribe the grisly activities of ‘bandits’ who have been waging a relentless war against ordinary Nigerians in the North-west and North-central States.
The bandits have been vicious in kidnapping and killing their captives across Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue, Niger and Sokoto states.