Senate seeks more pragmatic action over Benue killings

The Nigerian Senate has resolved to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to address the joint session of the National Assembly on measures being taken by the government to end the continued killings and wanton destruction of property in Benue State and some other parts of the country.

Senate, which called for a state of emergency in the State, said it has become necessary for the number one citizen to address the lawmakers on security situation in the country.

These resolutions were sequel to a motion, Continued killings in Benue State,sponsored by Senator George Akume during Thursday’s plenary session.

Senator Akume who is a former Governor of the state, now represents Benue North-West senatorial district in the National Assembly.

The senate also asked its ad-hoc committee on Security Architecture to expedite action on the recommendations of the security summit recently organised by it.

It also advised the government to holistically evaluate the entire security architecture of the country, and ensure immediate return of the internally displaced persons, IDPs to their homes and establish a relief fund for them.

Similarly, it enjoined security agencies to immediately identify, apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of the heinous act, which it vehemently condemned.

Senator Akume noted with dismay, the continued killings, maiming and wanton destruction of lives and property in Benue State, particularly Benue North-West senatorial district which comprises seven local government areas.

Senator Akume recalled that some Christian faithful, including Rev. Fr. Joseph Gor and Rev. Fr. Felix Tyolaha, a Catechist, John Ibor and 17 others were on Tuesday, April 24, killed at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Ayar town in Gwer East local government area during their routine morning mass.

He lamented that these killings have continued unabated since January 2018, and have made the government, through the Nigerian Army, embarked on a military exercise code named Ayem A’Kpatuma, or cat race.

Though the exercise was intended to curb these killings and destructions in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Kogi States, the lawmaker lamented that despite the military presence, there is no end to the wanton killings.

Senator Akume was worried that the latest attack on worship centre, which is unprecedented, has very grave implications for the security and unity of Nigeria.

According to him, the monumental refugee situation now estimated at over 200, 000 which is being faced by the entire state, particularly Benue North West district where all the seven local government areas affected by these invasions and killings.

He acknowledged the role of the senate in containing these crises by sending an adhoc committee to the state to ascertain the true picture of the situation.

Senator Sam called for the declaration of a state of emergency in the state and other parts of the country with a view to putting an end to the incessant killings.

Also, Senator Gbolahan Dada lamented that over 2, 000 people have been killed since the carnage started.

He, however, cautioned against killing in places of worship, saying it could trigger religious war in the country if the situation is not handled with care.

The senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki expressed worry that the spate of killings in the country was taking a dangerous dimension, saying we must stop it in order to protect our democracy.

Senator Saraki maintained that the country cannot continue like this, especially when nobody has been arrested, noting that every hand must be on deck to put a stop to the killings.

Source: Voice of Nigeria