The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), has accused some officers of the Nigeria Police Force of conniving with bandits operating in the North.
Mr Wase made the allegation on Tuesday while moving a motion of urgent public importance on recent attacks on Pinau in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State.
While leading the debate on the motion, Mr Wase cited three instances of police officers releasing suspected bandits, kidnappers and robbers.
He claimed some security agencies are conniving with bandits to sabotage the effort of the government to tackle bandits.
“security agencies are not helping matters. The arrest of my district head’s wife by kidnappers— when they took her, the vigilantes went up to Taraba State to get those bandits and got the wife, as I am talking to you, those bandits have been released by the police.
“Secondly, recently, there was an arrest of somebody, who was found to be conniving with bandits in my own locality, he made a confession which was on video— the video went viral. As I am talking with you, that person has been released.”
He also cited another case involving his nephew in Kaduna State. According to Mr Wase, the police released the suspect that kidnapped his nephew.
“There is a case—one of my nephews working in Kaduna that was taken by bandits to faraway Birni Gwari. The combined forces of the air force went there and rescued him. They were able to arrest—among the people that did that dastardly act was a member of his household. Mr Speaker, the police released all those people arrested,” Mr Wase said.
He said he informed the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, but he was informed that “matter has been spoiled by the police. Even the person investigating the case has been removed from the case.”
Reacting to the motion, the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, said the country had never been besieged by this level of insecurity.
Also supporting the motion, Nasir Ali (APC, Kano), said the security agencies are reluctant to deploy personnel to tackle insecurity, but willing to deploy thousands to monitor elections.
“It is very unfortunate that the people no longer have confidence in the security apparatus of this country. Every time there is an election, let us take Anambra for instance, where over 30,000 security personnel were deployed to Anambra. Where did they get the security personnel from? For a one or two days election, the police can get 30,000 personnel. The same security apparatus should get the same security personnel to fight bandits.”
The Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, while reacting to the motion, said he is glad APC members are now affected by the insecurity bedeviling the country.
“It has been going on and on around, I am happy that number six citizens have been affected, I am happy that he has been affected….. The APC government has failed…..
He was shut down by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, who said security issues should not be reduced to partisan matters.
“You (Mr Elumelu) are the minority leader, we are dealing with a matter that affects everybody, whether you are an APC member or PDP. We should not reduce such matters to partisan matters. Even when Hon Toby was speaking, he could not resist making it a partisan issue,”
Following the debate, the House resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the general insecurity in the country.
Furthermore, the House urged the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, to initiate coordinated joint security operations within Wase Federal Constituency and adjoining towns located in Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Nasarawa States to flush out the bandits and prevent them from escaping to other states.
Also, the lawmakers urged the Chief of Air Staff, Isiaka Amao, in collaboration with the Chief of Army Staff, Faruk Yahaya, to provide aerial surveillance and support to flush out bandits’ hideouts and camps.
The Inspector-General of Police was directed to immediately deploy Mopol Squadrons to utilize the Kadarko Police Barracks in Wase constructed by the Obasanjo administration but yet to be utilized.
The State Security Services (SSS) and Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) were charged to provide intelligence to support the operations.