The Senate, Tuesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to extend military operations against banditry to Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger and Sokoto States.
This development followed a motion sponsored by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi of Niger State on Banditry.
In his debate, the lawmaker recalled that the Senate had last week Tuesday, May 12, 2020, considered two separate motions on the need for the federal government to immediately address the growing spate of banditry in Niger and Katsina States respectively.
He said, “the upper chamber was aware through a Presidential Spokesman that President Muhammadu Buhari has authorized the commencement of a major military operation to sweep banditry 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 is 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 and Asokoro in the FCT, Abuja.
He also expressed concerns, saying, “a major offensive in Katsina State alone is likely to make the armed bandits and kidnappers seek safer haven in Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger states which hosts the Zurmi and Kamuku forests among others, and will further compound the plight of hapless and poor communities along these forest corridors.
“It was the earlier massive operations in Zamfara and Kaduna states that led the armed bandits to seek safe haven elsewhere, moving into Katsina and Niger States respectively; and some others pushing their lick to some parts of Asokoro and Kebbi States”.
However, the upper chamber in its resolutions urged Buhari to expand the scope of the operations to include Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, Sokoto States and any other surrounding areas or states that the armed bandits may want to seek safe haven following the massive operation.
It also called on the Military formations and the Nigerian Police to increase their surveillance operation to track movements by these armed bandits in order to stop them from accessing any safe haven.