Benue Killings: Saraki cuts committee’s recess short

OrderPaperToday – In view of the reckless killings in Benue State, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has mandated the Senate Adhoc Committee on Security to fast-track action in a bid to ensure immediate intervention.

Recall that scores of worshippers returning from a cross over service in  Omoku, Rivers states were murdered in cold blood.

Shortly after, killer herdsmen were on the prowl in Logo and Guma local government areas of Benue, leaving a death toll of about 80 persons including women and children.

Reacting to these attacks, Saraki in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu on Wednesday demanded for suspension of recess by concerned lawmakers in order to attend to the killings that have caused a national outrage.

According to the President of the red chamber, “the killings are clear indications that the security architecture in the country has inherent faults and needs to be refurbished.”

The committee is expected to work through the weekend and produce an interim report on 16th of January.

He said: “I believe the sad situation in Benue State shows some fundamental faults in our security system. There is clear failure of intelligence gathering, analysis and response time. Our security agencies must be totally overhauled in terms of equipment, specialization, funding, training and staffing.

“This is the reason why in November, the Senate set up a special committee led by Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan to work with security agencies and review the entire system with a view to identifying what is required in terms of laws, process, procedure, funding and other necessities for us to have a solid security system which can be pro-active in identifying potential threats, responding to them on time and preventing any breach.

“We are quite aware of the fact that security is the first and prime responsibility of any government. That is why since early last week I have directed the Lawan committee to take into consideration the sad developments in Benue and Rivers in their deliberations. Now, we cannot wait for the time they planned to conclude their recommendations. They must fast track their schedule.

“They must sit through the weekend and get an interim report ready for the Senate when we resume plenary on Tuesday. We must immediately support the executive in solving this problem. We cannot afford shedding of blood and we are already moving into the election year with the potential for the aggravation or escalation of these problems. We must decisively resolve the problem of needless blood-letting.”

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