Nigeria: Senate invites Buhari to address joint session over rising killings

The Senate on Thursday resolved to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to address a joint session of the National Assembly over the rising level of killings in the country.

The resolution followed a motion by Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Sen. George Akume at plenary.

Presenting the motion titled: “Continued Killings in Benue State”, Akume  expressed concern on the continued destruction of lives and property, particularly in the seven local governments of Benue North West Senatorial District.

He noted with concern that despite the presence of the military in the state, the killings and destruction of properties had continued unabated.

”In the morning of Tuesday April 24, while some Christian faithful  were gathered at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Ayar town, Gwer East Local Government Area, they were ambushed by armed  gunmen.

“They opened fire indiscriminately on the worshipers resulting in the death of two Reverend Fathers, a catechist and 17 others.

“This latest attack on a worship centre, which is unprecedented has grave implications for the security and unity of our dear nation.

“The monumental refugee situation now estimated at over 200,000 is being faced by the entire state,”  he said.

The lawmaker prayed the senate to urge the Federal Government to evaluate the entire security architecture of the country and for the identification, apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators of the killings.

Contributing, Sen. Adamu Aliero (APC-Kebbi) decried the wanton killings, saying there was need for concerted efforts by relevant stakeholders to nip the problem in the bud.

According to him, if care is not taken, it will lead to religious crisis in the country.

“I do not think those perpetrating the crime do not have a religion. They can attack Muslims and Christians, so we should treat them as criminals.”

Sen. Sam Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) said if not nipped in the bud, the continuous killings in the country would also lead to food scarcity.

“If nothing is done urgently, there will be food scarcity because the places that are attacked are predominantly farmers. We must fight this as a country.

“The service chiefs should be engaged to know what is happening.  We should also seek foreign aid. I think some people are gaining from this development,” he said.

Sen. Obinna Ogba advised that President Muhammadu Buhari be invited to a joint session of the National Assembly.

He stressed that something drastic should be done to address the security situation of the country.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said the continued killings across the country were worrisome.

“We were talking about herdsmen and farmers, now we are talking about herdsmen and religious leaders.

” The dimension this is taking will lead to a serious problem if not urgently tackled.

“We need drastic action, we must say no to the wanton killings.

” We cannot continue to say we are leaders; this is a failure and we must look at what we can do differently.

“We cannot continue like this, we have to take a decision that will show we are serious given the enormity of the situation,” he said.

The lawmakers observed a minute silence in honour of those who lost their lives in the latest Benue killings and in other parts of the country.

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