Wednesday, January 11, 2017 10:28 am
The Senate, at its plenary on Tuesday, set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the persistent killings in southern Kaduna .
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the action followed a motion by Sen. Danjuma La’ah (PDP-Kaduna South).
The ad hoc committee is expected to look into the causes of the killings in that area and similar violence in other parts of the country.
The Senators had earlier condemned the wanton killings and destruction of property in the area, and emphasised the need to work out a permanent solution to the crisis.
While presenting the motion, Sen. La’ah had said that various communities in the south of Kaduna had been consistently attacked by herdsmen since 2011.
He said that the attacks had resulted in deaths, injuries, loss of property, as well as displacement of communities.
He expressed concern that the region had experienced attacks over the years, and regretted that nothing much had been done to end them.
“ As we speak, communities in Ambam, Goska, Dangoma, Tsonje, Pasankori, Gidan Waya and Farin Gada of Jama’a and Kaura local government areas are under serious attack by herdsmen, resulting in deaths and destruction of property worth billions of naira.
“The killings amount to serious violation of the right to life, right to security, right to property not only guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution, but the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
“A total of 808 people have so far been killed in 53 villages across the four local government areas, with 57 people injured, while farm produce estimated at N5.5 billion have been destroyed.
“A total of 1,422 houses and 16 Churches were also burnt during the attacks,” he said.
He expressed the fear that the situation could degenerate into something worse than what happened in Darfur region of Sudan, if urgent measures were not taken to check it.
Supporting the motion, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, said that the attacks were “disheartening”.
He urged the ad hoc committee to evaluate the causes of the attacks, not just in Kaduna, but other parts of the country.
According to him, the outcome of the investigation will enable the Senate take further action to stop a recurrence.
“Because we need to look into the matter deeply so as to see where this is coming from, I recommend we don’t go into full blown argument and debate so as not to worsen the already tense situation.
“Let us look at the prayers and merge them it into one by setting up one ad hoc committee to look into it and other related matters.’’
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, commended Sen. La’ah for coming up with the motion.
He said that the protection of lives and property was the primary responsibility of government, stressing that the Senate would not shy away from playing its part toward restoring peace to every part of the country.
He called on major stakeholders to step up efforts to forestall the breakdown of law and order in any part of the country.
Saraki charged the adhoc committee to carry out a thorough investigation and report back to the senate in four weeks, and emphasised the need for recommendations.
“The committee should also look at the role of the security agencies in its search for permanent solutions.
“It should also look at the roles of individuals or groups in the crises with a view to identifying anyone culpable so as to bring such persons or groups to book,’’ he said. (NAN)