The Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District and Chairman Senate Committee on Senate Services, Mohammed Sani Musa has called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency set up a permanent Military Base in Shiroro, Munya and Rafi local government areas to help stem the tide of banditry.
The call by Senator Musa followed renewed attacks by gunmen in over thirteen communities in both Shiroro and Rafi local government areas, which have left at least nine persons dead, properties destroyed and many kidnapped.
In a statement issued by the lawmaker, he said the federal government cannot afford to turn deaf ears and close its eyes against the wanton killings of the people in his constituency.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give a matching order to the military to immediately establish a base each in the three local government areas.
According to him “the on and off operations by security agencies in the affected communities cannot solve the problem. The bandits know when troops are around and when they are not.
“As soon as they know the troops are withdrawn, that’s when they strike. So, the solution is to establish a permanent Base for the military in the areas. Their presence no doubt will scare off the hoodlums and consequently stem the tide of criminality.”
Senator Sani Musa who expressed worries over the latest attacks by gunmen in Rafi and Shiroro, said at this critical time when the world is under the pressure of the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic, both the Federal and State government must beef up security in the state to ensure that the people do not suffer double losses.
At least over three thousand persons are currently being camped in primary schools in Bosso and Kuta, mostly women and children.
Senator Sani Musa advised that both the National and State Emergency Management Agencies should endeavour to provide adequate support to the displaced persons, in terms of food, healthcare and other basic amenities.
He also enjoined them to make available water, hand wash detergents and sanitizers for the IDPs, while emphasizing the need for social distancing, and restriction of persons from going into the camps without proper checks.
Meanwhile, Senator Sani Musa has reiterated his commitment to promoting legislations that will impact on the lives of the people in Niger East and Niger State as a whole.
He said, “I remain undaunted in my efforts toward improving on the lives and welfare of my people, through promoting laws that will have impact on them.”
Reacting to a recent agitation by a group under the aegis of Concerned Shiroro Youths, the lawmaker debunked the allegations that he had not fulfilled the promises he made during his visit to the IDPs camps at Kuta.
“While, I understand the feelings and agitation by the Concerned Shiroro Youths toward the current security challenges we are faced with, I find it rather disheartening to read their comments regarding the contributions of political representatives from Niger East.
“I do not think it is right for anyone to undermine the efforts we are making. Since the latest renewed attacks in Shiroro and Rafi, I can tell you that I have not been able to sleep. I have been making consultations with relevant security agencies.
“Just yesterday, I had a meeting with the (Chief of Army Staff). I am a lawmaker and do not control any command structure to enforce anything. All I can do is to use my position to cry out to those who control the state apparatuses to help my people. That’s exactly what I am doing,” he said.
He said further, “In addition, I have personally donated nine hundred bags of rice, hand sanitizers and other detergents to the people of Niger East as part of efforts to cushion the effects of their sufferings.
“Currently, plans are also being concluded to provide more palliatives to the people.”
Senator Sani Musa appealed for calm among the youths, urging them to join hands with both the state government and their representatives to find lasting solutions to the issues.
According to him, “I operate an open door policy and will always be ready for constructive discussions that will add value to the people of Niger state.”
By Daniel Okpole Atori