Declare Bandits Terrorists, 36 Speakers Tell Buhari
The 36 House of Assembly speakers has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits as terrorists and enemies of the nation. This was their resolution at a Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly in Katsina State Sunday.
The call of the Conference of Speakers is coming a day after Katsina Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, reiterated the earlier call of his Kaduna counterpart, Nasir el-Rufai and the National Assembly for the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the nation’s security and declare bandits as terrorists.
Chairman of the Conference, who is also Bauchi State Speaker, Abubakar Suleiman, while making the call at the end of their third yearly meeting, said it was part of their five-point communiqué at the end of their eight-hour deliberations.
He said: “We call on President Buhari to declare bandits as terrorists and enemies of the state. The conference has observed all the activities carried out by the bandits as containing the same mode of operations used by terrorists.
“The Conference also decried the state of insecurity in the country and resolved to work out legislative frameworks, to complement the efforts of the Federal Government to address the security challenges in the country.
“In addition, the Conference also resolved to make appropriate laws to address the fundamental issues that breed insecurity in the land, as well as create employment for the youths and curb the menace of insecurity in the country.”
The Speakers’ Conference further commended governors who gave their assents to the fund management bills passed by their respective state Assemblies and called on those yet to do so to expedite action on the bill for effective implementation of financial autonomy for the state legislatures and judiciary.
The host governor, Masari, had on Saturday added his voice to the growing call for bandits to be labelled terrorists. Katsina is one of the epicentres in the nation’s Northwest where banditry and other criminal activities reign supreme, leaving many citizens traumatised.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Masari said that the security agencies were doing their best at tackling the state of insecurity nationwide but the Federal Government ought to adopt more measures towards resolving the problem.
The governor identified the 1975 Local Government Reforms as a fundamental factor engendering current security issues in the nation and also urged participants at the conference to adopt certain measures being implemented by Katsina to check the state of insecurity.
“The Katsina State government decided to review the system and bring on board the traditional institutions and other relevant stakeholders to participate directly in security decisions and management.
“We reviewed the state local government law and we have created three-tier security committees across the 34 Local Government areas, to provide security agencies with useful information and assist ineffective policing and ensure arrest of offenders and hand them over to the appropriate authorities.
“We also adopted the Security Containment Order, which is another milestone achievement recorded in the security subsector as well as community conflict resolution centres across the state for civil and non-criminal cases, to reduce congestion in the courts.”
The district head of Batsari (Sarkin-Ruman Katsina) in Katsina State, Tukur Mu’azu Ruma, has said bandits fleeing the onslaught in neighbouring Zamfara and Kaduna states are infiltrating and taking over farming communities in the Batsari local council of Katsina.
According to him, the current onslaught is causing hardship and starvation for the bandits in neighbouring states, forcing them to ransack communities within his chiefdom to seize foodstuff and other valuables belonging to innocent residents of the area.
Speaking with journalists at his palace, he said many farmers in the local government were not harvesting their crops due to the activities of the bandits, and in some areas, the bandits are the ones doing the harvest instead.
He said the bandits displaced by security agencies in Zamfara State had formed different enclaves in communities bordering Runka forest and other adjoining forests in the area from where they come out daily to attack innocent citizens at night, especially along Batsari-Jibia road.