The House of Representatives has given President Muhammadu Buhari 48 hours to address the nation over the spate of killings in the country.
This was part of the resolutions reached by lawmakers in the House when the matter came up during Thursday’s plenary.
They agreed that the President should address them and the nation regarding the attacks on communities in Benue, Zamfara, Kaduna, and other states where many people were killed and several others displaced.
Should the President fail to respond to the request, the lawmakers resolved to conclude with other Nigerians that he and his administration were incapable of permanently curtailing the incessant killing of innocent Nigerians.
They also agreed that the failure to address the nation would mean that the President and his administration have failed in their primary constitutional responsibility of ensuring the security and welfare of the citizens.
The House resolved to constitute an ad-hoc committee to interface with the Presidency regarding the request.
The committee, according to it, will also engage the Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, and service chief among others, in a public hearing to find permanent solutions to the killings.
The resolutions were agreed on following a matter of urgent public importance raised by a member from Benue State, Mr Mark Gbillah.
The lawmaker had alleged that bandits and suspected killer herdsmen have gradually progressed from attacking remote villages at night to sacking whole towns at broad daylight while the security forces were unable to curb their activities.
After a series of deliberation on the matter, the lawmakers resolved that the President should brief the nation on the alleged inability of his administration to declare the “killer herdsmen” as terrorists.
They also faulted the alleged inability of the security agencies to stop what they termed “recurring death of scores of innocent Nigerians annually from systematic attacks by killer herdsmen and alleged bandits.”
The house claimed that there were “selective and ineffective” responses to the killing of Nigerians, especially when they occur in certain parts of the country.
They demanded to know the immediate measures the President was taking to provide the security agencies with the required resources to confront and dislodge the criminals from their hideouts.
They also called for the establishment of permanent security presence in immediate proximity to affected communities and the provision of a timeline within which the attacks would be curtailed.
Buhari may repeal Land Use Act for Ruga, SMBLF alleges
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has said there is a surreptitious plan by the Federal Government to repeal the Land Use Act and take over the control of lands in the country from state governors.
This, it said, was to enable the government to subsequently implement the suspended Ruga project.
The forum said it gathered that the FG suspended the Ruga Settlement Programme due to the Act which restricted its access to land, adding that the government may move to repeal the law in order to facilitate the implementation of the Ruga grazing scheme.
SMBLF cautioned Southern lawmakers in the National Assembly to be vigilant and to guard against the introduction of any bill intended to repeal or amend the Land Use Act.
The forum said this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday by its co-spokespersons: Yinka Odumakin (South West), Prof. Chigozie Ogbu (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South South), Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt).
The group stated that it was not impressed by the suspension of the Ruga Settlement Project, which it declared as “an expansionist agenda on behalf of the Fulani nomads.”
The statement reads, “It is being alleged that there will be moves to repeal the Land Use Act in the (Ruga) suspension period so the Federal Government can have authority over land which is currently under the states.
“We therefore call on all our members in the National Assembly to be vigilant about any surreptitious bill that may be introduced to tamper with control of land and thwart such without any waste of time.
“The 2014 National Conference debated this issue at length and resolved to retain the Land Use Act in the Constitution.”
The forum further warned the lawmakers against passing the ‘Bill to establish a Regulatory Framework for the Water Resources Sector in Nigeria,’ sponsored by the executive, noting that it was meant to give the FG sole authority and control over the nation’s rivers and underground water.
The group added, “When this obnoxious Water Bill is taken alongside the Ruga programme and the speculated assault on Land Use Act, the internal colonialism agenda is complete and we would have no one but ourselves to blame if we don’t effect our no-pasaran (They shall not pass — a slogan used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy).
“It is pertinent to ask why the FG is not going ahead with Ruga in some northern states that have accepted the policy if the whole idea was not about land-grabbing in the South and Middle Belt states,” it said.
The political pressure group stated that the FG’s support for local government autonomy was hinged on the Ruga scheme to allow “aliens” to take over allotted land under the programme.
It vowed not to relax its opposition to the project, stressing that only outright cancellation of the initiative was acceptable to the forum.
“The whole policy has opened our eyes to the reason why the President has been harping on local government autonomy now and then,” the group stressed.
Insecurity: Buhari vows Serious punishment on murderous herders, terrorists
…Salutes army on 156th anniversary
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday vowed that the federal government will not allow anyone who kills or maim another under any guise to go unpunished.
He spoke at the 2019 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) held at the Ikeja Cantonment, Lagos, in commemoration of the service’s 156th anniversary.
Buhari who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the federal government was working seriously with other states to contain herders-farmers conflicts, banditry and terrorism saluting the army for its efforts to save the country from disintegration.
He said: “Nobody will be allowed to maim, kill or commit other crimes and escape. It is our duty to apprehend and punish these criminals and we are doing and will continue to do so.
“Herder and farmer conflicts, random killings, banditry and kidnapping some attributed to Fulani bandits, in different parts of the country are extant challenges that the army has had to intervene in on several occasions. I want to reassure all Nigerians that these issues are being seriously tackled by the Federal Government, working with the states, through a multi-pronged approach.
“You will be hearing a lot more about these solutions in the weeks and months ahead. Law enforcement is of course an important element of the response.
“We have seen an unprecedented ramping up of the deployment of military personnel- multi-agency intervention squads like Operation Whirlstroke. The training and deployment of Special Forces, new Forward Operating Bases, and so on – to the flashpoints, in the last eighteen months.
“Several bandits’ hideouts and camps have been destroyed, and hundreds of arrests have been made, and it is now up to our judicial systems to ensure that justice is meted out not just comprehensively but also in a timely manner.”
COZA: Police investigate rape allegation as Busola Dakolo files complaint
The police have commenced investigation into the allegation of rape against Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) founder Pastor Biodun by celebrity photographer Mrs. Busola Dakolo.
The commencement followed an official complaint filed by Mrs. Dakolo at the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID), Alagbon in Lagos.
A source, who hinted on the development, told our correspondent that the investigation would be thorough.
He stated that the police now have something to build a case on.
It was gathered that she was accompanied by her husband Mr. Timi Dakolo, a popular music artist, who also took to his verified Instagram account to refute reports that Fatoyinbo joined him and his wife in holy matrimony.
Dakolo also denied ever attending COZA nor meeting Fatoyinbo, describing all the counter stories as desperate attempts to cover the truth.