Nigeria: Katsina Lawmaker Laments 'Alarming' Rate of Killings, Kidnappings in Buhari's State

(file photo).

The rate of killings and kidnappings in Katsina State has become so 'alarming' that a lawmaker wants a state of emergency declared in parts of the state.

The lawmaker representing Baure/Zango Federal Constituency, Ahmed Dayyabu-Safana, on Thursday decried the increasing rate of killings in Katsina State, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Dayyabu-Safana said some villages within his constituency had been serially attacked with many people killed by armed bandits.

The killings are, however, not restricted to Mr Dayyabu-Safana's constituency in Katsina. There have been reports of killings and kidnappings across the state in recent times.

One of the most recent incidents happened in Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari's hometown. The District Head of the village was kidnapped on Wednesday by four gunmen. Some people were also reportedly killed during the attack.

The motion

Worried by the violence, Mr Dayyabu-Safana moved a motion on the urgent "Need for Federal Government's Intervention on the Ongoing Wanton Killing of Innocent Persons, Destruction of Property, Armed Robbery and Kidnappings by Heavily Armed Bandits Operating Within Safana/Batsari/Dansamu Federal Constituency."

According to him, the recent spate of the said attacks on members of his constituency has reached an 'alarming stage'. He said the perpetrators of this act continuously kill innocent persons.

"They set their homes ablaze while defenceless men and women are abducted to an unknown destination. Up to four villages within my constituency are currently under attack in the last 48 hours," the lawmaker said on Thursday.

"The villages are Massa in Batasari Local Government Area, where no fewer than five persons have been killed, Alhazawa in Safana LGA has been totally displaced. Guzurawa village in Safana LGA also has several persons murdered in cold blood.

"And just yesterday (Wednesday), Gobirawa Village came under attack with no fewer than 12 dead bodies littered in the bush while many are still missing. These killings have continued unabated and these bandits seem to be unstoppable with a specific instance at Gobirawa Village in Safana LGA.

"The bereaved villagers there are forced to abandon the corpses during the burial and scamper for safety when they sighted the bandits coming back to launch another offensive," he said.

He expressed worry that the bandits, who operated both at night and in broad daylight on motorbikes, paraded sophisticated weapons including AK 47 assault rifles.

The lawmaker said in spite of persistent cries from the affected communities, the security operatives appeared not to be proactive, especially on security tips off and most times failed to respond promptly.

"The fundamental duty of any government is the protection and preservation of lives and property by being responsive in the face of this type of cruelty and atrocity committed against its citizen.

"It is the constitutional duty and responsibility of this hallowed chamber to take action whenever these levels of inhuman and brutal attacks are being inflicted on any community or group of people," he said.

Several lawmakers took turns to condemn the recent attacks and called for immediate action from the federal government.

The Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, said it was necessary to invite the president for an address since the issue of banditry had become national.

The resolutions

After his motion, Mr Dayyabu-Safana said as an immediate step in containing the evil activities of the heavily armed bandits, the president should urgently declare a state of emergency in the federal constituency. That was accepted as a resolution by the lawmakers.

The House also resolved to invite the president to address the nation on measures taken to tackle rising cases of killings, banditry, armed robbery and kidnappings. No official date was fixed for the president to appear before the lower chamber.

The lawmakers urged the federal government to deploy the military to the areas under attack to assist the police and other security agencies in flushing out the criminal elements.

The lawmakers also called for the declaration of a state of emergency in Mr Dayyabu-Safana's constituency.

They urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently provide relief materials to the victims of the attacks.

The resolutions were unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker.

Not the first call

This is, however, not the first call from officials of Katsina State.

The Governor ofKatsina State, Aminu Masari, had in January, raised an alarm that the state is under siege.

The governor said no one, not even himself, is safe in the state.

He said the heinous crimes have become the order of the day across the state.

He also said the situation is getting out of hand and urged residents of the state to "turn to God" and pray to Him to help salvage the situation.

Despite the governor's public outcry then, the situation has remained notwithstanding President Buhari's pledge to restore law and order.

Mr Buhari is yet to react to the latest attacks including that of Daura. He is currently in London on a 'private visit' for an undisclosed reason.

Like Katsina, Like Other Nigeria

Attacks on innocent people by armed men is, however, not peculiar to Katsina. It has become the order of the day in many states across the country such as Zamfara, Sokoto, Taraba, Kaduna, Adamawa and Cross River.

The attacks occur in various forms such as banditry, kidnappings, terrorism, armed robbery and ethnic/religious violence.

The attacks occur despite the efforts of security agencies.

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