Critical Times News : Killing of 200 people in Plateau State by killer herdsmen is an act of genocide - NASS declared

Published by / 4 Jul 2018 / No comments / ,

Killing of 200 people in Plateau State by killer herdsmen is an act of genocide - NASS declared



The National Assembly yesterday condemned the killing of 200 people in Plateau State by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen and declared the act as genocide.

The lawmakers resumed legislative activities from their two-week Sallah break on Tuesday.

While the House of Representatives said that Nigerians were losing confidence in the country’s security system, the Senate concluded that the most viable and lasting solution to the menace was state police.

The Senate therefore directed its Committee on Constitution Amendment headed by Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu to fast track the amendment on the Bills on state and community police and submit its report within two weeks.

At the resumption of plenary, the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, stated that Nigeria’s security system was waning and called for urgent attention to reverse the trend.

He said that history would be unkind to the present administration if it failed to stop the mass killing of innocent Nigerians.

Dogara argued that whatever achievement being recorded by the government will not be remembered if the orgy of violence and mass killings go on unabated.

“The stark reality now is that our citizens are fast losing confidence in our security system. This must not be the case. Before we ebb to the realm of anarchy, we must rise up as true representatives of the Nigerian people to salvage the situation and defend our hard-won democracy.
“History will have a harsh verdict for us as a government if we fail to live up to this responsibility and it won’t matter if we succeed in other areas,” he said.

In a motion by Hon. Istifanus Gyang from Plateau State, he condemned the barbaric killing which led to the sack of 52 villages with over 200 citizens massacred.

In his contribution, Hon. Sunday Karimi said that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed in his constitutional duties in providing security for the citizens.

The House Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said that the issue on ground had gone beyond ethnicity and party affiliation, and urged the House to find a lasting solution to the matter.

His comment on whether the House should pay attention to stories relating to the Plateau killings on the social media which he described as “fake news” elicited hash responses from his colleagues.

Gbajabiamila who called for an overhaul of the country’s security architecture, canvassed constitutional amendment for the establishment of state policing.

Hon. Nnena Ukeje described the President’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina’s comments on the matter as insensitive.

Hon. Babashir Balle said that what the country is facing is a product of system failure.

The lawmaker who broke down in tears said he lost a cousin in the ugly incident. He prayed against religious war and called on Nigerians to put their acts together to move the country forward.

The House urged the president to go beyond verbal condemnation of the attacks to taking decisive and practical steps to give effect to Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

At the Upper House, Senators further directed the Ekweremadu committee to fast track legislation on the bills for peace and reconciliation and police reform and present them for passage within two weeks.

They Senate also appealed to the Executive arm of government to overhaul the security architecture of the country and evolve a better security action against terror attacks threatening communities in the North Central zone and other parts of Nigeria.
These resolutions were sequel to a Point of Order raised by Senator Jonah Jang (PDP-Plateau), on the recent killings in the state.

Jang said that the security challenges confronting the country with reference to some communities in the North and Plateau State had become worrisome.

He said that the latest killing had led to the dead of about 250 persons while many injured persons were receiving treatment in different hospitals in the state.

Senator Joshua Lidani (PDP-Gombe), said that the carnage on the Plateau was the latest in the series of recurring killings in the country.

Ekweremadu said that the killings would continue until Nigeria adopts other countries’ security measures against the menace.

He asserted that the adoption of state police was the only measure to end the killing by armed herdsmen and bandits.

Sen Adamu Aliero (APC Kebbi), an ardent opposition to the establishment of state police, having lost his senior legislative aides in the recent Jos killings, backed the adoption of state police.
In his remark, Saraki condemned the attacks, saying the ugly incidents were totally unacceptable.

“These are acts of criminality and we should not encourage any other coloration to it. Be it religious, this is criminality and as such we have a role to ensure that we must address this criminality,” he said.

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