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People being killed in Zamfara more than in Somalia, Afghanistan, says Shehu Sani




KADUNA Central Senator, Shehu Sani, says the killings in Zamfara are now more than the killings being reported in Somalia and Afghanistan, countries that are technically at war.

Sani said this during Wednesdays plenary at the floor of the Senate while contributing to a motion raised by Senator Kabiru Marafa, representing Zamfara Central Senatorial District, on the need for more action to be taken by Nigeria’s security agencies to put a stop to the crisis in the North Western State.

According to Sani, the happenings in Zamfara, which he said has gradually transferred to Kaduna State, are a sign that Nigeria was failing as a nation.

“The army has carried out several operations, Python, tiger, scorpion, lion and all sorts of ‘sloganeering’ operations, that has still not solved the problem. Recently the state government engaged hunters and bullet charmers. That has still not solved the problem. Two and half years ago, President Muhammadu Buhari visited the state. That has still not solved the problem.

“The country is at war. People killed in Zanfara State are more than the reports we get of people being killed in Somalia, Afghanistan.

“Happenings in Kaduna is a fallout of what is happening in Zamfara. We are failing as a nation. These are symptoms of a failed state where the government has failed to tackle banditry and governors should remain in their states.”

Earlier, while moving his motion, Marafa had said that over 11,000 adult men had been killed in Zamfara from 2011 till date but majority of the killings had not been reported.

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Marafa commended the concerned citizens who carried out a peaceful protest on Saturday to raise awareness on the insecurity situation in Zamfara State. He also called for the creation of an intervention fund to cater for Zamfara citizens affected by the crises.

Also contributing to the debate, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, urged the federal government to declare a state of emergency in Zamfara State.

“I remember a part of the report from the delegation we sent to the state said the whole of Zamfara is engulfed except one local government area. We don’t even know the state of that one local government area,” Ekweremadu said.

“Nigeria is the only country doing the kind of policing we are doing – which is the centralised policing. We need to consider decentralising the system. I also think the time is right in Zamfara to consider a state of emergency.”

Concluding the debate, Senate President Bukola Saraki said the upper legislative chamber would give urgent and detailed attention to the Police Reform Bill which is before it as part of efforts to strengthen the Nigeria Police Force for better effectiveness.

“The sooner we pass that (Police Reform Bill), it would help us in addressing this issue. And more importantly, is that we must still go back to what a lot of us have been advocating here. There is a need for us to have state or community police because it is a way forward. Otherwise, we will continue to run into these problems,” he said.

At the end of the debate, the Senate resolved to create a fund of  N10 billion from the 2019 budget to cater for the victims of Zamfara crisis.

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