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Defence and Security

Declare full scale war against terrorists, Senate tells FG

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…raises alarm over displacement of 151,380 persons in two years
 
The Senate has called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, declare full fledged war against elements involved in terrorist activities in the country.

This was just as the upper chamber called on the government to establish a military base at Shiroro and Kaima communities in Niger State to restore confidence in the security and safety of the affected communities.

According to the Senate, doing so would also safeguard the Shiroro Hydro-electric Power Dam, a National Asset located within the area.

These formed part of resolutions reached following a motion considered during plenary on Tuesday.

The motion was sponsored by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa (Niger East) and Co-sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (Kwara North).

Senator Musa, in his presentation entitled, “Recent Bandit attack on communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State: A call for action”, noted that on Tuesday, 11th January, 2022, 13 (Thirteen) persons were confirmed killed in an attack by suspected bandits in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

According to the lawmaker, on Friday 14th January, 2022, five vigilante members were killed in an attack on a local market and some communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

He lamented that during the “deadly” operation, “a lot of destruction ensued, including many people who sustained multiple gunshot injuries while many others were kidnapped and taken to unknown destination.”

He said that, “the assailants attacked villagers who were harvesting crops on their farm in Nakundna village in Shiroro council area and the inability of farmers to harvest their farm produce may likely trigger food scarcity in the State;

“Notes that the current sad reality is that there is no longer semblance of security in the whole of Lakpma axis
of Shiroro local government in Kaima village;

“Regrets that these attacks by armed groups have continued in the North-west and North-Central Niger State
despite repeated government assurance to address the escalating atrocities;

“Recalls that over 151, 380 people, mostly peasant farmers, were displaced by the activities of bandits in the last two years. The displaced persons were registered in 13 local government areas of the state, with Rafi council area neighbouring Zamfara and Kaduna topping the chart with 28, 987 displaced persons;

“Concludes that in the Shiroro council area, where the latest incident occurred, over 27, 678 persons were displaced within the period; and

“Notes that the ongoing bloodletting and destruction of public and private assets by the bandits cannot be allowed to continue.”

The Senate, accordingly, in its resolutions, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for ordering air bombardment on there area of operation.

It also called on the Federal Government to declare a full fledge war on unscrupulous elements since they have been declared as terrorists, and to establish a military Base at Shiroro and Kaima, to restore confidence in the security and safety of the affected communities and to safeguard the National Asset located within the area, such as the Shiroro Hydro-electric Power Dam.

The chamber urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials and medical team to the victims immediately.

 

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Defence and Security

Zamfara Govt Dethrones Two Emirs, District Head Accused Of Aiding Banditry

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Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle
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The Zamfara State government has dethroned two emirs and a district head over allegations of aiding the activities of bandits terrorising communities in the state.

Those affected by the government’s decision include the Emir of Zurmi, Abubakar Atiku, Emir of Dansadau, Hussaini Umar, as well as Sulaiman Ibrahim who used to be the District Head of Birnin Tsaba.

Mr Ibrahim Dosara, who is the Commissioner for Information in Zamfara, made the announcement on Wednesday while briefing reporters at the end of the State Executive Council meeting in Gusau, the state capital.

“The council has approved the deposition of Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and that of Dansadau, Alhaji Hussaini Umar,” he declared.

“The council also approved the immediate removal of the District Head of Birnin-Tsaba, Alhaji Sulaiman Ibrahim.”

According to the commissioner, the government has also ordered that all land titles issued by the affected traditional leaders be revoked.

“The State Executive Council has also directed the state Ministry of Justice to issue an executive order to back up the council resolution,” he added.

The deposition of the traditional leaders comes 10 months after they were suspended by the state government.

It also comes days after the submission of the reports of the committees set up by the state government to investigate the allegations against the affected traditional rulers.

“The council upheld the recommendation of a six-man white paper committee set up by the government to review the report of two separate committees earlier set up to investigate the involvement of the three traditional rulers in the activities of banditry in the state,” said a statement by Governor Bello Matawalle’s media aide, Zailani Bappa.

“The three impeached royal fathers were earlier suspended by the state government following wide allegations of serious involvement in the act of banditry in the state.

“The findings of the committees also revealed abuse of the Land Act in their domain and the government ordered the reversal to status quo involving the lands illegally allocated.”

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Defence and Security

Senate Passes Amended Terrorism Act, Criminalises Payment Of Kidnap Ransom

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Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
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The Senate has prohibited the payment of ransoms to kidnappers in its bid to complement the Federal Government’s effort to tackle the disturbing spate of insecurity in the country.

Payment of kidnap ransom was criminalised by the lawmakers during Wednesday’s plenary in Abuja as they passed the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The prohibition by the lawmakers followed the receipt and consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters on the bill.

Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, who chairs the committee, had moved that the lawmakers receive the report after which he presented it for consideration.

Thereafter, the lawmakers resolved into the committee of the whole to consider the report, clause by clause, and reverted to plenary to report progress.

This led to the reading of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 for the third time and its subsequent passage.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, congratulated his colleagues on the passage of the bill which he said was very important.

“It is believed here in the Senate that this bill, by the time it is signed into Act by Mr President, will enhance the efforts of this government in the fight against terrorism, kidnapping, and other associated vices,” he said.

“This is one piece of legislation that can turn around not only the security issues of Nigeria but even the economy of the country.

I believe that the Executive will waste no time in signing this bill into law and it is our hope that this additional piece of legislation will achieve the purpose for which it has been worked upon.”

According to Lawan, the fight against insecurity is not the sole purpose of a government and the contributions and support of the citizens are essential.

He explained that this was because the security agencies need critical information to tackle terrorism, kidnapping, and other threats to the nation’s security.

The Senate President stated that the security agencies were trying their best but needed to do more and achieve better results.

“With this, once again, I want to congratulate the Senate for this very important piece of legislation,” he concluded.

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Defence and Security

DSS Alerts on renewed Bomb Explosions

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has said some criminal elements plan to return the country to the pre-2015 era reminiscent of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks on soft and hard targets in parts of the country.

The Public Relations Officer of the security agency, Dr Peter Afunanya, raised the alarm in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

He stated that while the DSS has received reports on cases of such incidents in some areas, it has uncovered a plot by suspected criminal gangs to forge an alliance.

Their objective, Afunanya explained, was to launch further attacks on critical infrastructure and other public places frequently visited, such as worship and relaxation centres, especially during and after the holidays and festive celebrations.

He added that the groups intend to achieve some self-serving interests and cause fear among the people, and warned managers and owners of such centres to be cautious and implement basic security measures to deter the threats.

The DSS said it would continue to disrupt the trend and pattern of violent attacks and asked the people to go about their lawful businesses

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