Mop up all arms and ammunition in circulation, Reps tell IGP

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 21, asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, to carry out a comprehensive mop-up of all arms, ammunition, AK-47s, cutlasses, and other weapons in the possession of herders and individuals and to prohibit the public from carrying such arms and weapons.

The House also urged the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of State Security Service, the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to comb Yagba forests and secure the immediate release of kidnapped victims, and bring to justice all kidnappers that have made the forest their home.

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Adopting a motion of urgent public importance by Like Abejide (ADC, Kogi), the House urged the Chief of Defence Staff and the Inspector General of Police to identify and profile all persons living in obscurity within the Yagba in the interest of the security of the area in particular and the country in general.

The House called for the setting up of a comprehensive security Strategy, in collaboration with stakeholders to address the root causes of the insecurity and ensure the safety and well-being of all residents in Yagba Federal Constituency in Kogi State.

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The lawmakers expressed concern over the growing insecurity in the area which but said was renowned for its peaceful nature but has tragically devolved into a hotbed of banditry, kidnapping, and other criminal activities.

Moving the motion, Abejide informed his colleagues that on May 7, 2024, gunmen numbering about 10 invaded a community in the constituency dressed in black and abducted a prominent businesswoman, Bukky, and a male customer after shooting sporadically, causing panic and fear among the residents.

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He attributed the incident to the regrettable failure of the relevant authorities to uphold their constitutional mandate of protecting the lives and properties of the constituents, leaving them vulnerable to such incessant attacks, killings, kidnappings, and violations perpetrated by armed groups.

He said comparable violent attacks and kidnappings have been occurring every week in the area, including the abduction of one David Joseph as well as the ambush and brutal killing of two persons at Ogbe Community in Yagba West Local Government Area of the State by herdsmen armed with sophisticated weapons.

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He said more than 6 persons were kidnapped within the space of 48 hours around Isanlu, in Yagba East LGA, and 3 others were murdered between Idofin and Isanlu in an attempt to escape from the kidnappers.

He alleged that these attacks are perpetrated under the pretext of migration by cattle herders, lots of whom are non-Nigerians who infiltrate farms and forests in the area, engaging in kidnapping, killing, raping, and maiming of indigenes.

According to him, these armed groups are not known to the indigenous people of the land, do not live civilized lives, and have adopted a hostile existence completely at variance with the local culture and way of life, creating a divide within the community.

He said the people who do not own weapons, now live in fear of the heavily armed men who have forcibly seized their farmlands, causing serious famine due to the inability of the people to go to farm or access their agricultural lands.

He expressed concern about the seeming inability of the security agencies to address the systematic takeover of farmlands belonging to the people of Yagba Federal Constituency, allowing private individuals to carry arms in broad daylight.

 

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