The Senate of Nigeria has called upon security agencies’ leaders to appear before them in response to the horrifying killings that took place on Christmas Eve in Plateau State. Noting the well-planned execution of the massacre, the Senate attributed this tragic event as indicative of a significant lapse in security intelligence. During Saturday’s plenary, Senator Diket Plang (APC, Plateau) initiated a motion in The Red Chamber, summoning the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Director-General of State Security Services, National Security Adviser, Director General of Nigeria Intelligence Agency, and Inspector General of Police to address the alarming incidents of killings.
Also, the Security officials will provide a comprehensive report to the Senate, shedding light on the horrifying massacres in Plateau State. This information will empower the Parliament to proceed with necessary measures. Senator Abdul Ningi, representing PDP from Bauchi, expressed his concern that approximately 400 bandits operated without any obstacles, stating that the security forces neglected crucial information prior to the attacks. Furthermore, he criticised the lack of collaboration and coordination among the different security agencies. Senator Simon Lalong, a former governor of Plateau State, strongly disputed the military’s assertions regarding the challenging terrain and the perceived remoteness of the communities that were attacked.
Officials urged the chief of staff to found military bases in other areas.
Despite the implementation of numerous military operations, such as Operation Safe Haven, he conveyed his profound dismay over the distressing loss of innocent lives. Additionally, the House of Representatives earnestly urged the Chief of Army Staff to establish a military base not only in Bokkos Local Government Areas but also in other areas of Plateau State that are prone to volatility. After a motion emphasising the criticality of condemning and investigating the horrific Christmas Eve homicides in certain regions of the state, the house reached a resolution.
During the plenary session, Hon. Ahmed Wase, discussing the disturbing events in Bokkos LGA, highlighted that an assessment conducted unveiled alarming figures: 12 villages had been attacked, resulting in the destruction of 221 houses, 27 motorcycles, and 8 vehicles. Tragically, over 79 lives were lost in these attacks, with an additional 17 fatalities documented in Barkin-Ladi LGA. According to several news sources, the cumulative casualties resulting from the multiple assaults in Bokkos, Barkin Ladi, and Mangu LGAs of Plateau State have exceeded 200 as of December 29, 2023, leaving numerous individuals gravely wounded.
Advice was given to embark on joint security operations.
Speaking further, Wase expressed his concern over the fact that, up until now, authorities have failed to ascertain the culprits responsible for these brutal assaults, which have resulted in the loss of countless innocent lives and the destruction of valuable properties. He also decries the potential consequences if no action is taken to address these despicable assaults, warning that they could intensify over time, exacerbating the already unstable security conditions on the Plateau. He also emphasised that any further escalation in these acts of violence could ignite a widespread crisis throughout the entire North-central region, possibly extending to other geopolitical zones within the nation.
More so, the the House ordered the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to swiftly evaluate the magnitude of harm and evacuation in the targeted neighbourhoods under the mentioned local governing regions to deliver essential aid supplies promptly. Additionally, a thorough inquiry into these assaults was demanded by the House from the Inspector General of Police, with the aim of uncovering the culprits responsible and ensuring their prosecution. The Minister of Defence was strongly advised to embark on a consolidated Joint Security Operation encompassing the local government regions and neighbouring towns within Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, and Nasarawa states. This comprehensive strategy aims to eradicate criminal elements and bandits while ensuring their inability to evade capture and infiltrate other states.
Extensive collaboration within the security agencies is needed.
Lastly, the message implored the collaboration of the Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Army Staff to offer air surveillance and assistance in order to eliminate criminal hideouts and camps, call upon the Department of State Services and Directorate of Military Intelligence to urgently amass vital intel regarding the surge, accommodation, and undertakings of criminal factions sprouting in Bokkos, Barkin-Ladi, Mangu, and neighbouring districts and subsequently pass along this crucial information to allied security organisations. It also encourages the Chief of Army Staff to swiftly set up military facilities in the aforementioned local communities as well as other precarious regions of Plateau State. The House additionally requires the House Committee on Police, Defence, Army, and National Intelligence to delve into the fundamental reasons behind these ongoing killings and propose enduring remedies.