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Reps oppose engagement of mercenaries to curb insecurity

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Demand for state police gathers momentum as bill passes first reading in House of Reps

A suggestion for the engagement of mercenaries to help curb the wave of insecurity in the country, was on Wednesday rejected by the House of Representatives.

The lawmakers, however, resolved to meet with President Bola Tinubu to find a solution to the worsening insecurity situation in the country.

The resolution of the House was a sequel to the adoption of a motion on urgent public importance on the floor of the green chamber on Wednesday moved by the member representing Bakori/Danja Federal Constituency, Katsina State, Abdullahi Dabai.

Addressing plenary, Dabai said the people of his constituency are living in a state of fear owing to constant attacks by bandits.

“Families have lost their loved ones, their means of livelihood, and their homes. The psychological trauma inflicted on the survivors, particularly those who have lost family members or witnessed the destruction, cannot be overstated. The kidnappings have further exacerbated the situation, with families anxiously awaiting the return of their loved ones.

“The recent spate of attacks has resulted in significant loss of lives, destruction of properties, and displacement of residents, thereby necessitating immediate intervention,” the lawmaker said.

He also noted that on Saturday, May 25, 2024, at Unguwar Lamido, Guga Ward, Bakori Local Government Area of the State, eight individuals were killed, 100 cattle and sheep were stolen while 26 persons were killed at Gidan Kare near Lamido.

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He further stated that during the last Sallah celebration, two brothers of a member of the Katsina State House of Assembly, Shamsudden Dabai, and his son, were taken away by abductors, adding that they are still in captivity two months after the incident.

In his contribution, a member representing Damboa/Gwoza/Chibok Federal Constituency, Borno State, Ahmad Jaha, called on the Federal Government to engage mercenaries, noting that more advanced nations than Nigerians are doing the same.

“Our security agencies are doing their best. Nobody is saying that they are not doing their best but there is nothing wrong if we engage foreign mercenaries to help us get rid of these insurgents, Boko Haram or what have you.

“Ukraine is stronger than Nigeria and so is Russia but these nations are using external forces. I believe this can be of assistance to this country because this war has been on for over a decade,” he said.

Jaha’s suggestion however did not sit well with Abbas Adigun, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Ibadan North-East/Ibadan South-East, Oyo State, who argued that young military officers retired during the administration of Muhammadu Buhari should be engaged to fight the bandits.

“I don’t think that the way to go is for us to engage mercenaries. Some young military officers were retired a few years ago. These young men can deal with the situation. They can get the job done,” he said.

Also contributing, the lawmaker representing Onuimo/Okigwe/Isiala Mbano Federal Constituency, Imo State, Miriam, Onuoha said there was a need to rebuild infrastructure by non-state actors.

On his part, a PDP lawmaker representing Ede North/Ede South/Ejigbo Federal Constituency, Osun State, Bamidele Salam, urged the government to focus on addressing the challenges of poor access to education, adding that there is a nexus between lack of education and insecurity.

“What is the correlation between insecurity and education? What is the correlation between insecurity and poverty? I think the government will need to create more access to education and focus on poverty alleviation measures. If you take a look at it, you will notice that in places where the level of education is high, insecurity is high and vice versa,” he said.

Following the adoption of the motion, the House resolved to meet with the President to find solutions to the challenges of insecurity. The lawmakers further urged police authorities to appropriate funds to repair damaged security assets across the country.

 

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