Under fire from the ceaseless ravaging and decimation of the Nigerian population by the scourge of terror and banditry, the National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno and the Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, have been asked to resign or be sacked.
Federal lawmakers made the call following vicious killings by Fulani herdsmen, bandits and terrorists in the country, particularly in Benue, Plateau, Edo and Niger States.
Persecondnews recalls that in one week, no fewer than 136 people have been reported killed while 70 others were kidnapped as suspected herdsmen shot through several communities in Plateau, Benue and Edo States, burning over 100 houses and injuring scores of people.
In Plateau, no fewer than 10 villages were ravaged with about 106 dead bodies given mass burial, according to the Chairman of Kanam Local Government, Alhaji Dayyabu Garga.
“The attack affected about 10 villages in Garga, comprising Kukawa, Gyanbawu, Dungur, Kyaram, Yelwa, Dadda, Wanka, Shuwaka, Gwammadaji, and Dadin Kowa, also some parts of Wase Local Government Area.
“As of the last count, no fewer than 106 bodies were given mass burial in my presence on Monday, while many more bodies are still being recovered from the bush and farms across the 10 affected villages.
“The bandits numbering about 70 had attacked the villages on Sunday, killing inhabitants at random and forcing the residents to flee their homes to the Garga community for refuge.,’’ he said.
So touching was the emotional outburst of an inconsolable man, Anya Ali, who lost four children to the Plateau massacre: “It is horrible seeing my four children lowered into a mass grave.
I am yet to recover from the gory sight of this attack. It is painful to see my loved ones being lowered into a mass grave.’’
“Some were butchered like goats. Their blood was everywhere,” he said fighting back tears.
At a plenary, the House of Representatives said it is overwhelmed by the daily wailings of their constituents about the mass murders and called for the sack of retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno and the Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi,
The lawmakers also said they were unimpressed with the prosecution of the terror war in the country, and called out President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies for apparent failure in this regard and for the umpteenth time demanded a state of emergency on insecurity.
In Benue, Gov. Samuel Ortom had asked the people to defend themselves as at least 12 people were wasted and many houses destroyed in a fresh herdsmen’s attack on villages in Gboko and Tarka local governments.
The member representing Pakshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency of Plateau state, Rep. Yusuf Gagdi, and his counterpart from Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency of Benue state, Rep. John Dyegh, moved separate motions to draw attention to the plight of the villagers in their respective constituencies.
Among the dead is a traditional ruler, who was murdered in Gaambetiev in Logo Local Government Area.
Retired Lt.-Col Paul Hemba, the Special Adviser on Security to the Governor, confirmed the killings including the traditional ruler killed in Logo, 15 others killed at Tiortyu in the Tarka Local Government Area of the state and nine hacked to death in Guma council area.
For Edo State, it is also tales of herdsmen’s attack as they struck at the agrarian community of Odiguetue in Ovia North-East council area with at least five fatalities.
“The people were on their farms when the herdsmen came and killed three of them. That was in the morning and later in the evening, they came back and killed two more farmers,’’ the community leader, retired Lt.- Cdr. Anthony Ogie, said.
Persecondnews reports that the majority of representatives noted that cases of killings, now a daily occurrence, had cheapened the lives of Nigerians and would appear that security agencies and the government had lost total control of the situation.
They said the buck stopped at the President’s table and he must now take more decisive actions against criminal elements.
Despite the Federal government making it clear that hiring mercenaries is not an option, the lawmakers said the Buhari-led government should secure the services of mercenaries to supplement the efforts of security agencies in containing the situation.
A motion was unanimously supported by the House to invoke Section 83 (1) of the 1999 Constitution to provide special funds, through a supplementary budget, and to hire mercenaries in a bid to give a fillip to the anti-terror war.
The motion was moved by the House Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Godwin Elumelu, and unanimously voted for at the session, which was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Ahmed Idris Wase.
Meanwhile, Rep. Yusuf Gagdi (Plateau — Pankshin, Kanke, Kanam) has suggested that Nigerians should be allowed to carry arms for self-defence in the face of mass killings and violent attacks across the country.
“The National Assembly should enact laws permitting Nigerians to bear arms for the purpose of defending themselves, legalizing arms-bearing would go a long way in addressing the recurring attacks and killings in some parts of the country.
”If we want to curtail the spate of attacks, we should make laws that will permit citizens to carry arms. If, for instance, those who attacked my people knew that the locals also had arms, they would not have come; and even if they came, the casualties would not be this high.
“But there must be regulation of the use of the arms. Anyone who misuses it should be imprisoned or even sentenced to death by hanging. But I tell you, if citizens are allowed to carry arms to protect themselves, all these attacks and killings will end,’’ Gagdi, who is the House Committee Chairman on Navy, said in an interview with newsmen after visiting the scenes of the attacks.