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The Senate on Tuesday commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent directive to launch a military offensive against bandits in Katsina State.
The commendation came against the backdrop of a motion considered on the floor on the need to integrate adjoining States of Niger, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kebbi and Sokoto states.
The motion was sponsored by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC – Niger North).
The lawmaker in his motion recalled that 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.
Senator Sabi Abdullahi 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 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”.
According to him, “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 and Asokoro states.”
The lawmaker expressed concerns that “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, further compounding the plight of hapless and poor communities along these forest corridors.”
He added that, “it was the earlier massive operations in Zamfara and Kaduna states that led the armed bandits to seek safe haven elsewhere, this moving into Katsina and Niger States respectively; and some others pushing their link to some parts of Asokoro and Kebbi States.
The Senate in its resolutions, accordingly 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 formations and the Nigerian Police to increase their surveillance operation to track movements by these armed bandits to recent them accessing any safe haven.