– Senate says state police is the solution to banditry problems.
– The red chamber further urges the Federal Government to set up a presidential initiative on Zamfara with a 10-year lifespan.
The Senate has berated the Federal Government over its inability to tackle the alarming rate of insecurity in the country, particularly banditry in the North-West geopolitical zone.
The upper chamber of the National Assembly on Wednesday stressed that the introduction of state police remained the only solution to the menace.
The position was taken by the upper legislature following separate motions moved by senators Emmanuel Bwacha from Taraba State and his colleague from Zamfara State, Kabir Marafa.
Bwacha drew the attention of the house to the inability of the security agencies to tackle the rising cases of kidnapping in Taraba, while Marafa lamented the unabated killings of his people by bandits.
In his own contribution, Senate President Bukola Saraki pointed that apart from the establishment of community or state police, the funding of the Nigeria Police Force was essential to tackle the menace.
He added that the key thing is that the National; Assembly begin to look at the problem and provide long-term solutions.
Citing the Police Reform Bill which was passed on Tuesday as an example, the leader of the National Assembly said it has taken the steps towards trying to strengthen the funding of the police.
He, therefore, urged fellow lawmakers to continue to advocate for state police.
“The sooner that we can pass that bill will also help us in addressing the insecurity challenges. But more importantly, is that we must go back to what a lot of us had been advocating here that there is the need for us to have state or community police. It is the way forward. Otherwise, we will continue to run into these problems.
“On the area of oversight, there is a lot also that we need to do to ensure that we hold the security agencies accountable. And we need to move very fast in this area.”
In its resolution, the Senate commended Nigerians irrespective of cultural, religious and ethnic differences for coming out in large numbers to show solidarity to the plight of their brothers and sisters in Zamfara.
The red chamber urged the National Assembly to make provision for N10bn in the 2019 appropriation bill as intervention fund to cater for the Internally Displaced Persons and other persons affected by the activities of bandits in Zamfara State.
The red chamber further urged the Federal Government to set up an ad hoc committee to be known as presidential initiative on Zamfara with a 10-year lifespan to manage the said funds and subsequent allocations and donations.