Barely 24 hours after Niger Governor, Sani Bello, revealed that Boko Haram terrorists had taken over about 50 communities in the state, the Senate has raised the alarm that some villages and communities in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were already under the siege of terrorists.
It, therefore, resolved to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to find lasting solutions to the country’s security challenges.
The decision of the Senate followed a motion moved through a point of order by Musa Sani from Niger State, tagged: “Activities of bandits and Boko Haram terrorists in Niger State.”
Leading the debate, Sani said about 42 communities across the two local government areas of Shiroro and Munya local government areas have fallen under the control of Boko Haram with about 5,000 villagers already displaced in the last three days.
“They have kidnapped many, their wives seized from them and forcefully attached to Boko Haram members. Three military camps in Allawa, Bassa and Zagzaga in the two local government areas have been sacked and some security personnel killed by insurgents in the last one month of renewed attacks.”
Matthew Urhoghide, from Edo State, who disclosed that some villages and communities in Abuja were already under the siege of terrorists, said: “If nothing is done in the next few days, Abuja will be the target. Already, villages within Abuja are under siege. We need to do something. Why can’t we invite powerful countries to help us? These bandits don’t know the Villa; we are the target, lawmakers. Let’s invite the United States of America, the United Kingdom and other countries to help us,” he said.
Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Sabi Aliyu Abdullahi, who also warned that Abuja was the next target of the terrorists said: “In the past, we said it here that Niger State will be the next target of Boko Haram. What we predicted is coming to pass. Today, they’ve occupied Niger. Abuja is next if Niger State is not rescued by our security forces.”
A former army Colonel and senator from Gombe State, Amos Bulus, said Boko Haram terrorists were already moving into Abuja from border communities and warned of grave consequences if nothing was done to checkmate them.
“The way these bandits and Boko Haram terrorists are moving from every corner into Abuja, something big will soon happen. If care is not taken, lawmakers will not come to the National Assembly because bandits will take over. We have to find a solution now,” he said.
Olubunmi Adetunji suggested a private session with President Muhammadu Buhari to end the crisis saying “ we are gradually snowballing into a full-blown war. Enough is enough.”
Former deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, in his submission, said the government had lost the legitimacy to lead having failed in its primary responsibility of securing the lives of citizens.
After a long debate, the Senate resolved that Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, should lead other principal officers of the upper legislative chamber to meet President Buhari on the issue.
It also resolved to summon newly-appointed service chiefs to brief them on steps so far take to salvage the situation. No date was however fixed for the meeting.