Killings: Reps want increased security presence in Plateau, Ekiti

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, urged the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja; Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun and heads of other security agencies to deploy more men to troubled spots in Plateau and Ekiti to stem the tide of killings in the two states.

The resolution of the House followed the adoption of motions of urgent public importance sponsored by Ishaya Lalu and Akin Rotimi, members representing Bokkos/Mangu and Ikole/Oye Federal Constituencies of Plateau and Ekiti states respectively at the resumption of plenary on the floor of the House on Tuesday.

Citing Order 8 Rule 4 of the House, Lalu who is the Deputy Chairman, Committee on House Services recalled that on January 24, 2024, “There was another attack on the People of Mangu Local Government Areas of Plateau State killing more than 50 persons, others seriously injured, with over 1,000 houses and other properties worth billions of naira completely destroyed with about 20, 000 people displaced at different internally displaced persons camps within and outside the Local Government Area.”

Following the adoption of the motion, the House urged the CDS to establish a Civilian Joint Task Force in Plateau State even as it resolved to set up a committee to investigate the proximate cause of the incessant terrorist attacks in Mangu, Bokkos, Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State.

The House also mandated the Committees on Defence and Legislative Compliance “to ensure compliance and furnish the House with a weekly report until the insecurity is brought under control.”

Similarly, a weeping Rotimi leading the debate on “The need for security agencies to urgently stem the tide of criminality ravaging Ekiti State,” lamented the increasing spate of criminal activities in Ikole/Oye Federal Constituency, which he said led to the loss of lives and valuable properties.

According to him, the constituency is exposed to peculiar security challenges “Due to the nature of our forests and topography, and more painfully because Ekiti Federal roads are some of the most dilapidated in the entire country.”

Rotimi who doubled as the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs recalled that on Monday, “These criminals carried out a dastardly attack in the Oke-Ako area in Ikole Local Government Area resulting in the death of two traditional rulers: the Onimojo of Imojo Ekiti, Oba Olatunji Olusola, and the Elesun of Esun Ekiti, Oba David Ogunsola and leaving a host of others with life-threatening injuries.”

He continued, “In the past few days alone, a commercial driver was killed between Ayedun and Ayebode by bandits, and just yesterday (Monday), a school bus load of students was abducted in Emure Ekiti and their whereabouts are still unknown.

“The late Onimojo was an intellectual and highly intelligent historian and orator who always spoke truth to power.”

The House he said, is aware “That the late Elesun was a peace-loving king who was very hands-on in the development of Esun-Ayedun communities. The late Onimojo was an intellectual and highly intelligent historian and orator who always spoke truth to power.

“The House recognised that the entire people of Imojo in Oye local government and Esun in Ikole Local Government and the entire State have been thrown into mourning on account of the loss of our highly revered traditional rulers who were forces for community development, peace, and stability in the constituency and the entire state,” lamenting that “The Nigerian Army has a military outpost on the road, which has been non-functional, as they only patrol on Tuesdays, leaving the communities exposed for the rest of the days.”

Following the adoption of the motion, the House urged the Chief of Army Staff, Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, to redeploy the military to the outpost along the Oke-Ako area to enhance security and forestall a repeat of the attacks.

It further directed the IGP, the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp, and other security agencies to deploy more men to Ekiti North 1 and ensure that those who carried out that dastardly acts are fished out and brought to justice.

It also urged the Ministry of Works and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency to immediately rehabilitate the Ayedun to Irele road, and other roads in the Federal Constituency.

The lawmakers also urged security agencies to put all measures in place to rescue the school children and teachers adopted in Emure Ekiti.

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