Zamfara Killings: Senate okays N10b intervention fund to cater for IDPs, other victims of armed bandits

Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 10 April 2019 | 905 times

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•Motion sponsor, Senator Kabir Marafa

The Nigerian Senate during plenary on Wednesday agreed to make provision for the sum of N10 billion in the 2019 appropriation intervention funds to cater for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other persons affected by the activities of armed bandits in Zamfara State.

It equally resolved to set up an Adhoc committee to be known as Presidential Initiative of Zamfara with a 10-year lifespan to manage the funds and subsequent allocations.

The Upper Chamber meanwhile observed a minute silence for the departed souls and urged the security agencies in interim to provide 24 hours surveillance among rural areas within the region.

This followed an appeal and motion moved by lawmaker representing Zamfara Central, Senator Kabir Marafa, on the need to create an intervention fund in the 2019 Appropriation to take care of the humanitarian crises in Zamfara State caused by armed bandits.

Marafa cited Orders 42 and 52 while speaking on the incessant killings and appreciated all those in and outside of the country who came out to show their support. He said: “Their peaceful protests were recognised and appreciated.”

Reacting to the motion, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu commended Senator Marafa for constantly keeping the Chamber informed on the issues on Zamfara State, saying: “Because most media houses have no offices in Zamfara, the nation was not aware of what was going on in Zamfara State.”

Ekweremadu lamented that “measures taken so far on security in the nation are not long-lasting; we have to come up with permanent solutions”.

Supporting the motion, Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan explained that “people are losing their lives, we have to look at what we can do immediately to fix this. The security situation varies from place to place. We need to engage with security agencies to know what measures can be taken & applied.”

Senator Olusola Adeyeye, representing Osun Central, in his contribution, stated: “Every crime is local and the solution to every crime is local. We must revisit the revenue formula in order to ensure that we give more funding to the state.

“We failed to federalise the police system in this Senate because we lack the courage and tenacity to start what is making other nations work.”

He added that the Constitution cannot give the needed peace and security, lamenting that “the official name of this country is the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but we do not operate under a true federalist system.”

Contributing, Senator Binta Masi Garba, representing Adamawa North, said: “As it is, we have to take drastic measures on Zamfara State. With so many other states apart from Zamfara in crisis in Nigeria, it is important for us to ask how strong our armed forces are. Do we need to recruit more security agents?”

Lawmaker representing Bayelsa Central, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, argued that “if we don’t take action now across all the tiers of government, things could get even worse and movement even more restricted for Nigerians. Security agencies have to assure us that this situation is under control.”

Senate President Bukola Saraki, in his response, said there was a need to begin to look at the cause of the problem and look for long-term solutions.

He said: “I think we did that yesterday trying to strengthen the falling of the police and what we have before us, the Police Reform Bill which will be laid today.

“The sooner we pass that, it would help us in addressing this issue and more importantly, is that we must still go back to what a lot of us have been advocating here, there is need for us to have state or community police because it is a way forward.

“Otherwise, we will continue to run into these problems. On the area of oversight, there is a lot also that we need to do to ensure that we hold the security agents accountable and we need to move very fast this year.”


Source: News Express

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