The Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the ongoing military operations against bandits to Sokoto, Niger, Kaduna, Kebbi and Zamfara States.
The lawmakers made the appeal on Tuesday during plenary at the Senate Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
Senator Aliyu Abdullahi who sponsored the motion recalled that the Senate had on May 12, 2020, considered two separate motions, asking the Federal Government to immediately address the growing spate of banditry in Niger and Katsina States, respectively.
Senator Sabi Abdullahi said the upper chamber was “aware through a Presidential Spokesman that President Muhammadu Buhari has authorised the commencement of a major military operation to sweep bandits and kidnappers out of Katsina State; as major proactive measures by Special Forces to replace the reactive strikes against the camps of these bandits and criminals”.
“The criminalities by these armed bandits and kidnappers are carried out mostly under the cover of the contagious forests reserves and areas stretching from Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger States with pockets of safe havens in Kebbi State”, he said.
The lawmaker added that “A major offensive in Katsina State alone is likely to make the armed bandits and kidnappers seek a safer haven in Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger states which hosts the Zurmi and Kamuku forests among others, further compounding the plight of hapless and poor communities along these forest corridors”.
According to him, the massive operations in Zamfara and Kaduna states forced the armed bandits to seek safe haven elsewhere.
The Senate in its resolutions appealed to President Buhari to expand the scope of the operations to include Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger and Sokoto States and any other surrounding areas or States that the armed bandits may want to seek safe haven following the massive operation.
The upper chamber also called on the military and the police to increase their surveillance operations to the bandits.