21 March 2018

Nigeria: Senator Links Increased Herdsmen Killings to Released Boko Haram Members

Jalingo — Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha, has attributed the increasing spate of killings by herdsmen across the country to the release of suspected Boko Haram members in prison custody.

Bwacha who represents Taraba South on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stated this in Wukari yesterday while fielding questions from journalists after inaugurating the N500 million central laboratory he donated to Federal University Wukari.

Faulting the release of the Boko Haram members by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, the lawmaker, who also awarded scholarship to 262 students and inaugurated transformers and bore holes on the occasion, stated that the suspects were unleashed on the society without being properly de-radicalised.

He maintained that the released insurgents have joined the rank of herdsmen to perpetrate their evil agenda in order to divert attention from themselves.

"I will continue to disagree with the people who said herdsmen are the ones carrying out these killings. We have lived with these people for long without these kind of killings.

"These Boko Haram suspects who were arrested and detained, but later released into the society without being properly de-radicalised are the ones carrying out these killing spree," he stressed.

Expressing bewilderment over the release of the suspects, he wondered why the federal government would take the decision without weighing the consequences or considering the implications on the security of the country.

"What is the basis of releasing them in their numbers? These are people who have been indoctrinated. You are fighting them in the North-east, but you continue to release them in their numbers into the society, and today, we are having the effects of their release in the country," he said.

Bwacha further noted that the country's porous borders has led to the influx of militia men from Mali, Niger and Chad as well as contribute to the killings currently being witnessed across the country just as he insisted that the federal government was aware of the influx of militia men into the country.

"I personally told the president that when economy grows, but people are dying, it makes no sense. I am not against the fight against corruption, but if you are succeeding in the fight against corruption and there is swell in the foreign reserves, yet people are dying, it doesn't make sense.

"The primary responsibility of government is the protection of lives and property, and I am indeed worried about the rate at which people are being killed in the country," he said.

The Lawmaker however tasked security agencies to build confidence among Nigerians, saying a situation where security agents disarm the people and the militia struck within three days of the disarmament is eroding the peoples' confidence in the security system of the country.

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