The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday gave the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris 14 days to arrest the killer Fulani herdsmen that killed 73 people in Benue State earlier this month.
The order was given after extensive debate by senators as they debated the killings by Fulani herdsmen in Benue State and other parts of Nigeria.
Their resolution have been conveyed to President Muhammadu Buhari by the leadership of the National Assembly, and the lawmakers said it was “wake-up call” to the President and the Federal Government who “must” take urgent action on the crisis before it escalates.
It is understood that the leadership of the Senate on Tuesday night was at the Presidential Villa to deliver the resolutions by the upper chamber of the National Assembly to President Buhari.
It is gathered that the Senate’s leadership, led by Senate President Bukola Saraki, met with Buhari to personally deliver the resolutions.
The debate followed the consideration and adoption of the report by the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of Security Infrastructure of Nigeria, after an investigative visit to Benue last weekend.
Mr. Saraki expressed condolences of the Senate to the people and government of Benue State, especially on those who lost their lives and properties to the attacks.
He said, “From the contributions by everybody today – we have taken our time, almost six hours just to deliberate on this issue – it is clear that this goes beyond religious or ethnic issues. It is a breakdown, really, of the security apparatus of the country. And it is a wake-up call that we must act now. Failure to act is an indictment on all of us.”
Speaking during the debate, Senator Barnabas Gemade, who is a member of the panel and a Benue indigene, challenged security agencies to take action since Governor Samuel Ortom had claimed that the suspects were known to him (the governor) and the security agencies.
The senator said, “I do recall in the committee’s interactive session with the heads of security agencies in Benue State. It is at this meeting that security personnel did inform the committee that those harbouring foreign bandits were known and they had in fact compiled a list and sent it to Abuja, and that if the ‘high leadership’ requires to have the list they have sent to Abuja, heads of the Nigeria’s security organisations could be approached and they would provide that list.
“I will therefore recommend that in addition to the report by the committee, this may be one of the areas that the Senate can explore.”
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, asked his colleagues to approach the matter with “a real sense of responsibility.”
“What we see now going on in the country is a situation of killings followed by retaliations. A responsible institution must rise to the occasion and say that enough is enough,” Ekweremadu stated.
On his part, Senator Dino Melaye said, “What happened in Benue State has showed like never before that in this country, we live in perilous times. We live in times where justice is the scarcest commodity in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I call on President Muhammadu Buhari to ring the bell of justice. I call on Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to ring the bell of justice. I call on the Nigerian Senate to ring the bell of justice.”