OrderPaperToday – Residents of Sokoto state are being secured from armed banditry by the Nigerien Army and not the Nigerian army, Senator Ibrahim Gobir (APC Sokoto East) has revealed on Tuesday.
According to him, while the Nigerien Army “comes to their rescue”, the Nigerian Army “looks the other way round”.
This he stated while contributing to a point of order raised by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Sabi Abdullahi, which appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to extend military protection to adjoining states around Katsina.
On the 12th of May, Senators from Katsina and Niger states raised alarm over the activities of armed bandits in the states.
President Muhammadu Buhari thereafter directed the military to clear the armed bandits in only Katsina state.
Abdullahi, however, expressed fear that the bandits will flee to Niger, Zamfara and Kaduna states for safety following the directive.
Contributing to this, Senator Gobir also stated that within the last three months, at least 300 people in his senatorial district have either been killed or kidnapped by the rampaging armed bandits on daily basis .
He said: “The situation in Sokoto East as far as armed banditry is concerned, is pathetic and tragic because it is only Nigerien Army that had been coming to their rescue while the Nigerian Army looks the other way round.
“In fact, based on very reliable and verifiable information from the area, many at times, that the people of the affected areas called on Nigerian Army for help and protection against the bandits, no response.
“But graciously , the Nigerien Army has been assisting in wading off the bandits, the very reason while not less than 5,000 people in the affected areas have migrated to Niger Republic for safety.”
The Sokoto Senator equally noted that asides the human killings, hundreds of cows and other animals worth about N2.5 billion were rusted by the bandits causing extreme hunger.
“Fallout of this is grinding poverty ravaging the affected people in form of serious hunger since their cows and other animals are on daily basis being stolen and even made from some of the cows they hurriedly sold .
“The situation is so bad that we only get help from Niger Republic and not from Nigeria at all, be it from the Military or the Police. The affected people cannot be perpetually be at the mercy of Nigerien Soldiers and still expected to proudly see themselves as Nigerians.
“Very urgent drastic action is required from President Buhari through the military in form of expansion of anti- banditry operation currently being carried out in Zamfara and Katsina State to Sokoto State”, he said .
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan in his remarks said: “Nigeria is definitely up to the task and Mr President will deploy military to the areas for restoration of sanity as gradually being witnessed in Zamfara and Katsina States.”