Buhari orders crackdown on Zamfara bandits

Nigeria Army. PHOTO: ketekete

• Senate decries nation’s security situation
• To probe EFCC, DSS, NIA face-off as SAN condemns conflict
• IGP orders 24-hour patrol of churches, mosques

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a military crackdown on bandits operating in Zamfara State following fresh attacks on rural communities in Shinkafi and Maradun local councils of the state.

He has, therefore, approved the stationing of a full battalion of Special Forces in Zamfara State, and the operationalisation of the newly-established 8 Division of the Nigerian Army in Sokoto in the new Order of Battle (OBAT) upon the request of the Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (rtd).

He has also approved the movement of the 1 Brigade of the Nigerian Army from Sokoto to Gusau upon the take-off of the 8 Division.

Besides, the Senate has blamed the wanton loss of human lives and property across the country on a faulted intelligence gathering and security architecture.

It has on this premise resolved to constitute an ad-hoc committee to review the current security infrastructure in the country in consultation with heads of security agencies and make necessary recommendations on the way forward.

This decision followed an adopted motion sponsored yesterday by Tijjani Yahaya Kaura, representing Zamfara North, calling for ‘urgent need to look into the killings and arson that took place in Shinkafi Local Council of Zamfara State.’

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the ad-hoc committee would be thorough in its findings and that the upper chamber might not hesitate to either move for constitutional amendment or provide for extra funding of the security agencies for effective security network across the country.

In another development, the upper legislative chamber has resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate causes of the recent embarrassing clashes involving the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Services (DSS) and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

The committee is expected to unravel the issues surrounding the botched arrest of former Directors-General of DSS and NIA, Ita Ekpeyong and Ayodele Oke respectively by the anti-graft operatives and report back in two weeks.

The resolution followed an adopted motion brought by Dino Melaye under matter of urgent public importance.

Melaye said that it was expedient for the upper chamber to intervene in the matter on the premise of its threat to national security and the possible damage it caused the image of the country in the international community.

However, a constitutional lawyer and author, Chief Sabastine Hon (SAN), has criticised the DSS and NIA for allegedly preventing the EFCC from performing its legal duties.

According to him, the officials of the DSS and the NIA have no right, moral or legal to prevent the anti-graft agency from performing its statutory functions.

Their action, he said, amounts to a breach of their oaths of office and their avowed allegiance to the Constitution and the rule of law.

However, the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has declared that the anti-graft agency will not be weighed down in its determination to bring Ekpeyong and Ayo Oke to justice.

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has ordered all state Commissioners of Police (CPs) to carry out 24-hour patrol of churches and mosques, particularly in the North-East.

He also directed that the commissioners and their supervising Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) and other police formations nationwide must be on red alert and prevent the spread of the renewed Boko Haram attacks on soft targets.

A statement signed yesterday by Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Jimoh Moshood, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) in Abuja, said the police joint team would also pay particular attention to the security of IDP camps and liberated areas in the mentioned states.



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