Senators were stunned on Tuesday at the plenary session when Senator Ibrahim Gobir revealed that people of his constituency are now being protected by soldiers from Niger Republic against armed bandits.
The Senator said this while seconding a motion on urgent military action against banditry in Niger State.
Gobir said the Sokoto incidences are worse than any other parts of the country, adding that the Nigerian Army has completely abandoned them.
Meanwhile, Senate has asked President Muhamnadu Buhari to direct the military to take immediate expansion of their operations against banditry from Katsina and Zamfara States to Sokoto and Niger States.
According to Gobir, while seconding and contributing to the motion, within the last three months, not less than 300 people in Sokoto East Senatorial District have either been killed or kidnapped by the rampaging armed bandits on daily basis.
He said: “The situation in Sokoto East as far as armed banditry is concerned is pathetic and tragic because it is only Nigerien Army that had been coming to their rescue while the Nigerian Army looks the other way round.
“In fact, based on very reliable and verifiable information from the area, many at times that the people of the affected areas called on Nigerian Army for help and protection against the bandits, no response.
“But graciously, the Nigerien Army has been assisting in warding off the bandits, the very reason why not less than 5,000 people in the affected areas have migrated to Niger Republic for safety.”
Gobir lamented further that aside the 300 people who had fallen victim of banditry attacks in the area through kidnapping or outright killing, hundreds of cows and other animals have been rustled by the bandits, putting the worth at about N2.5 billion.
Earlier, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, who sponsored the motion, lamented the daily occurrence of armed banditry in Niger State, which requires urgent intervention from President Muhamnadu Buhari.
Though the Senate in its resolutions commended President Buhari for the anti-banditry operations going on in Katsina and Zamfara States, it urged him for urgent expansion of the exercise in Sokoto and Niger States in stemming the tide of the ugly situation there.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said the security challenges are enormous but surmountable.
“Nigeria is definitely up to the task and Mr President will deploy military to the areas for restoration of sanity as gradually being witnessed in Zamfara and Katsina States,” Lawan said.