The House of Representatives, on Thursday, called on the Federal Government to collaborate with the Niger State Government to secure the rescue of over 130 students of Salihu Tanko Islamic School Tegina in Rafi Local Government Area of the state, abducted on May 30, 2021.
The lawmakers also charged the government to rejig the security architecture in the country, to combat the spate of insecurity, and urged the security agencies to deploy aircraft and drones to hotbeds of crimes.
This follows a motion sponsored by members from the state, and unanimously adopted by the lawmakers at the plenary.
The sponsors of the motion were Saidu Musa Abdullahi, Messrs Abdullahi Garba, Mohammed Bago, Abubakar Suleja, Mamudu Abdullahi, Jafaru Mohammed, Barwa Beji, Usman Abdullahi, Saidu Doka, and Salihu Salleh.
It was titled, ‘Urgent Need to Secure Release of 136 Abducted School Children from Tegina in Rafi Local Government and Rejig Security Architecture to Curb the Worsening Insecurity in Niger State.’
The Niger lawmakers decried that two weeks after the abduction, the children were still in captivity.
They said, “The House is worried that these elements have been gruesomely torturing and killing innocent lives; destroying critical infrastructure and properties; carting away foodstuffs, rustling cattle and domestic animals; and instilling fears, tensions and anxieties in the minds of people across the state and country.
“The House is concerned that the huge investments of this administration in the agricultural sector across the state have been practically frustrated as the farmers can no longer farm for a living as a direct result of the fear of attacks. The aftermath is an aggravation of food insecurity and threats to the peaceful co-existence and socio-economic stability of the country.
“The House is further informed that only for these few days, a prince from Kontagora Emirate and others were killed; about five people were abducted from Batati, in Lavun Local Government Area; serial abductions of innocent people from Suleja Local Government Area were reported; and bandits were seen operating along Zungeru, Tegina and Kontagora axis of Niger State for days and nights without resistance.
“No fewer than 50 communities across Munya and Shiroro Local Government Areas of Niger State were sacked and over 3,000 people were displaced from their ancestral homes to seek refuge in IDPs Camps recently.
“The military camps in Allawa, Bassa, and Zagzaga in the two Local Government Areas were overrun by the insurgents in their renewed attacks recently.”
Speaking further, the lawmakers alleged that the bandits now strike mostly in the daytime and operate “without any challenge from the security agents.”
“The mode of operations remains the same: riding on motorcycles with not less than two to three of them on each motorcycle and fully armed. Sounds of gunshots rent the air to herald their arrival and scare the villagers and anybody that comes across them is felled by their bullets,” the lawmakers added.
By Victor Uzoho