Members of the House of Representatives during plenary

The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to collaborate with the Niger State Government to secure the rescue of over 130 students of Islamiyyah students of Salihu Tanko Islamic School Tegina in Rafi Local Government Area of the state abducted on May 30, 2021.

While calling on the government to rejig the security architecture to combat the growing insecurity in Nigeria, the House urged security agencies to deploy aircraft and drones to in hotbeds of crimes in the country especially Niger.

The call was sequel to a motion unanimously adopted by the lawmakers at the plenary on Thursday, which was sponsored by members from the state.

The motion was sponsored by Saidu Musa Abdullahi and the co-sponsors were Messrs Abdullahi Garba, Mohammed Bago, Abubakar Suleja, Mamudu Abdullahi, Jafaru Mohammed, Barwa Beji, Usman Abdullahi, Saidu Doka and Salihu Salleh.

It was titled, ‘Urgent Need to Secure Release of 136 Abducted School Children from Tegina in Rafi Local Government and Rejig Security Architecture to Curb the Worsening Insecurity in Niger State.’

Consequently, the House urged the “National Security Adviser, Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to re-jig security architecture with a view of putting in place effective strategies and counter-measures to curb escalating insecurity across Niger State.”

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The House also urged the Federal Government to “maintain constant collaboration with Niger State Government to secure the immediate release of 136 students abducted from Islamic School in Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.”

Furthermore, the lawmakers called on security agencies to “deploy drones and helicopters in the insecurity prone areas of Niger State to identify illegal camps of bandits to defeat them permanently.”

They also urge the Federal Government to “develop a mechanism that will ensure effective interagency collaboration, coordination and mutual synergy especially at ensuring that the Department of State Services provides actionable and timely intelligence to the sister agencies in the fight against banditry, insurgency and terrorism.”

In addition, the House called on the National Emergency Management Agency; Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; and Border Communities Development Agency to undertake an on-the-spot assessment of the affected communities, with a view to determining the extent of the destruction and providing relief to the affected persons.

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The Niger lawmakers decried that two weeks after the abduction, the children were still in captivity.

They said, “The House is worried that these elements have been gruesomely torturing and killing innocent lives; destroying critical infrastructure and properties; carting away foodstuffs, rustling cattle and domestic animals; and instilling fears, tensions and anxieties in the minds of people across the State and country.

“The House is concerned that the huge investments of this administration in the agricultural sector across the state have been practically frustrated as the farmers can no longer farm for a living as a direct result of the fear of attacks. The aftermath is an aggravation of food insecurity and threats to the peaceful co-existence and socio-economic stability of the country.

“The House is further informed that only for these few days, a prince from Kontagora Emirate and others were killed; about five people were abducted from Batati, in Lavun Local Government Area; serial abductions of innocent people from Suleja Local Government Area were reported; and bandits were seen operating along Zungeru, Tegina and Kontagora axis of Niger State for days and nights without resistance.

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“No fewer than 50 communities across Munya and Shiroro Local Government Areas of Niger State were sacked and over 3,000 people were displaced from their ancestral homes to seek refuge in IDPs Camps recently.

“The military camps in Allawa, Bassa and Zagzaga in the two Local Government Areas were overrun by the insurgents in their renewed attacks recently.”

The lawmakers said the bandits now strike mostly in the daytime and operate “without any challenge from the security agents.”

They noted, “The mode of operations remains the same: riding on motorcycles with not less than two to three of them on each motorcycle and fully armed. Sounds of gunshots rent the air to herald their arrival and scare the villagers and anybody that comes across them are felled by their bullets.”

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