The House of Representatives has condemned the growing insecurity in Nigeria especially the endless killing and kidnappings across the country.
At the plenary on Tuesday, the House resolved to “condemn the senseless incessant killings and abductions of Nigerians” and to “pray for the repose of the soul of all military personnel and other victims who lost their lives in the hands of these bloodthirsty gunmen, and condole with the bereaved families.”
The House also urged all security agencies to “take necessary measures to ensure the early and safe return of the abductees,” while urging the Federal Government to “as a matter of urgency, increase its recruitment and training capacity for military men and police to close the gap between available and required manpower.”
The House further urged the Federal Government to increase the presence of security agents within the Chikun/Kajuru Federal Constituency in Kaduna State where bandits abducted 140 students on Monday, while asking the National Emergency Management Agency to urgently provide relief materials to the displaced persons.
A member of the House, Yakubu Barde, had moved a motion of urgent public importance over attacks on a school in his constituency, which was titled ‘Incessant Abduction and Killings in Chikun/Kajuru Federal Constituency, Kaduna State.’
Listing a series of attacks by bandits in the state, Barde said, “The House notes that on July 5, 2021, bandits attacked Bethel Baptist High School, Damshi, Chikun Local Government Area and abducted over 140 students from their hostel, out of which 28 escaped from their abductors and have reunited with their families, where two military personnel lost their lives.
“The House also notes that on 4th of July 2021, bandits attacked the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Centre, Zaria, Kaduna State, where they kidnapped 10 people, including children, a nursing mother, nurses and a security guard. On July 3, 2021, bandits attacked Iri Station and abducted 26 residents. The gang of bandits killed two of the kidnapped victims and took away the rest.
“The House recalls that on 19th of June, 2021, about 16 people were kidnapped from their homes at Unguwan Madaki, Kakau Ward, Chikun Local Government Area, Kaduna State. Five of these abducted innocent people were shot dead by their abductors to press home their demand for ransom.
“The House also recalls that on 20th of April, 2021, bandits attacked Greenfields University Campus at Kasarami, Chikun Local Government Area. In the attack, the bandits kidnapped 22 students and a matron of the kidnapped students was brutally murdered by the bandits to press home their seriousness for ransom, while the other 17 students and the matron were only released upon payment of ransom.
“The House further recalls that on 22nd of April, 2021, armed bandits attacked and abducted two nurses on night shift at Idon General Hospital in Kajuru Local Government Area. The two nurses are still being held captive to date.”
The lawmaker decried that there were quite a lot of unreported cases of bandits’ attacks on various communities where they abduct innocent citizens for ransom.
Barde added, “The House is further concerned that these incessant kidnappings and killings have a negative impact on food security, agriculture and employment.
“The House is aware that the Kaduna State Government has shut down 13 schools in Kaduna State as a proactive measure to prevent further incidents.
“The House is further aware that there are thousands of people displaced from the communities due to frequent attacks and who are taking refuge in various unofficial IDPs’ camps in my constituency and the state government has provided relief materials which are grossly inadequate.”
While addressing journalists on the same matter, Barde stated that the government has failed in its responsibility to protect lives and property. He also asked that Nigerians should be allowed to bear arms for self-defence.
The lawmaker partly said, “I am very emotional because I ask myself; what is the joy of being elected when I cannot prevent the killing of my people; when the government is overwhelmed. If I tell you what happened; the trauma I received yesterday morning when this thing happened. A woman just called me. I don’t even have her number. The moment I picked the call, the woman asked, “Is that how you people will allow us to be killed and our children abducted? Is that what you are in government doing for us?” Her child was one of those taken from Bethel School. If you were in my shoes, what would you tell them?
“Honestly, the government has failed in terms of providing security for my constituents. I would speak particularly for my constituents. If there is anything said that they are doing their best, I would say their best is not good enough. Their best is a failure. Let us say it: how long shall we continue this way? Are we going to continue to live like this?
“As I speak to you today, to prevent these things happening, Kaduna State Government has closed down 13 schools. Very soon, children are going to WAEC (for examination) and they do not have lectures. They are going to sit at home to write (sit for the exam). Are we thinking of the future of these children?
“If you look at their own case it is even better because they are thinking of writing exams (sic). How about those abducted? Will they think of exams? They are thinking of their safety and every leader of concern should think of their safety. How are they feeding there? The trauma they will go through. Some of them may not come back sane again. They may not be the same people.”
Barde added, “For me, the military is overwhelmed. The Federal Government is overwhelmed and my call is that even the greatest of nations seek assistance. Even in America, depending on what they want; they seek assistance. Why can’t we in this country call a spade a spade and say ‘we are overwhelmed? Let nations that are willing come to help us.’ Why? Is it because we are hiding something? If we are not, why can’t we call developed countries that are willing to join hands?
“China does a lot of business with Nigeria. Is it for economic interest alone? Why not for military interest? Why not for the protection of property and safety of Nigerians? Are they interested in only building rails which is a profitable venture? What are they giving back to the nation?”