Sen. Ali Ndume, Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, says the Nigerian Army has been engaged in 33 states in efforts to address security challenges across the country.
Ndume said this in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday during a courtesy visit to Gov. Atiku Bagudu, on the side-lines of the committee’s oversight tour of the state.
“The Army has some programmes we want to look at and at the same time, we want interact with the governor and Army on how we can solve the insecurity challenges in the state before they get out hand,” he said.
He said that out of the four states in the North-West — Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Katsina states — only Kebbi State was the least affected by the nefarious activities of the bandits.
Ndume decried the worsening security situation in the North, saying: “We are dealing with the insurgency challenges in the North East, issues of banditry in the North West and herdsmen-farmers’ clashes, as well as tribal and religious clashes in the North-Central.
“From our findings, the Nigerian Army is engaged in 33 states across the country.”
The senator commended Bagudu for working tirelessly and taking proactive measures in ensuring peace and security in the state.
“I am impressed with the way you are handling the security situation in the state. We want you to collaborate with Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina states on monitoring efforts, in addition to collaborating with neighbouring countries, to address the likelihood of spill over of insecurity from those states,” he said.
In his remarks, Bagudu urged the committee to engage all stakeholders in the process of adopting measures aimed at curtailing insecurity in the country.
“For example, if you interact with some of the victims of banditry, they will tell you horror tales about how they were being dispossessed, how they don’t have water and most of these tales are true.
“There is the need to emulate President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that those people living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps should be empowered to enable them by to go back into economic activities.
“I recall that President Buhari directed that N12 billion be given to IDPs in seven states, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Yobe, Zamfara, Borno and Plateau. to enable them go back to their normal lives,” he said.