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The House of Representatives has condemned the killings in the recent attack on Pinau, Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State and other places, observing one-minute silence in respect of the victims.
The House directed the National Emergency Management Agency to “immediately” assess the extent of damage and displacement in attacked communities within Wase Federal Constituency, with a view to providing necessary relief materials.
The House also urged the Minister of Defense, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd.), to initiate a coordinated joint security operation within the constituency and the adjoining towns located in Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Nasarawa states to “flush out the bandits and prevent them from escaping to other states.”
Also, the House urged the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, to collaborate with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, to provide aerial surveillance and support to flush out bandits from their hideouts and camps.
Furthermore, the House urged the Department of State Services and the Directorate of Military Intelligence to “gather intelligence information on the influx, camping and operations of bandits within Wase Federal Constituency and adjoining towns and share the same with other sister security agencies.”
In addition, the House urged the Chief of Army Staff to establish military presence and bases in Pinau, Bangalala, Yuli and Zurak – all in Wase, Plateau State; Kukawa in Kanam LGA, Plateau State; and Lau and Karim Lamido LGAs in Taraba State.
Also, the House urged the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to “immediately” deploy Mobile Police Squadrons to utilise the Kadarko Police Barracks in Wase constructed by the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo “but yet to be utilised.”
These resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of a motion of urgent public importance as moved by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase.
It was titled, ‘Motion on the Urgent Need to Immediately Halt the Wanton Killings and Kidnappings by Bandits in Wase Federal Constituency, Plateau State, and Other Communities in Neighbouring States.’
Moving the motion, Wase alleged that on several occasions, kidnappers and their collaborators who were arrested and handed over to the police were released without any of them being prosecuted.
Wase decried that his personal efforts as Deputy Speaker of the House failed to yield results as those arrested were released by the police the following day.
The Deputy Speaker gave three instances where persons arrested by either the vigilante or soldiers and handed over to the police were released even after being paraded and without being taken to court for trial.
Several members of the House expressed anger over Wase’s allegations.
Wase partly said, “I have personally made efforts to assist in resolving the insecurity caused by these bandits. I have personally driven to the security office, not as Deputy Speaker, to offer help in resolving this and yet nothing has happened.
“I want to say with lots of pain that the security is not helping the situation. While the citizens are doing their best, making efforts to resolve the matter through their vigilante and other operations to protect their communities, the security is not helping out.
“For example, my district head’s wife was kidnapped. The vigilante went as far as Taraba to get those bandits and release the woman. As I speak with you, those bandits have been released by the police.”
He added, “Recently, there was another arrest made of someone who was found to be conspiring with bandits. He made a statement on a video that went viral. As I speak, that person has been released.
“The soldiers and Vigilante in my village were arrested and those people have also been released. I am worried that if those arrested are given to the police, they will also be released. This does not stop in Plateau.”
Wase further said, “My nephew working in Kaduna was kidnapped and the security traced him to Birnin Gwari and arrest was made and he was rescued. Among those arrested was one of his house help. All those arrested have been released. I visited Governor el-Rufai and mentioned this to him and he took it upon himself to intervene. My nephew was later called and told that the case is spoiled because the first information report has been removed from the file.
“I saw a video trending, of two policemen who were dismissed from the Service. They came to Nasarawa to arrest some armed robbers. They were offered N8m to release the robbers, but they refused. The two of them were dismissed for not cooperating. I am concerned about the activities of some of our men in the field.
“We may never solve this problem until drastic action is taken. This morning, the Army wanted to take those people out for profiling.”
According to the Deputy Speaker, the House needs to go after those officers “who are not willing to allow peace to reign in our country but bring us bad names.”
He stated, “We can only give directives and there will be arrest, yet you don’t hear of any conviction even when there has been a parade of those criminals. What happened to them? There is even no attempt to take them to the court of law. So, I think we need to do something and make Nigeria a peaceful place to live in.”
Consequently, the lawmakers resolved to investigate through an ad hoc committee, allegations that the police were releasing bandits arrested and handed over to them by communities and other security agencies, thereby frustrating the fight against insecurity in the country.