By John Ikani
Nigerian Senate on Wednesday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare rampaging and deadly bandits as terrorists.
The Red Chamber also asked the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to wage total war against the criminals, including bombing all their locations to annihilate and eliminate them.
The resolutions of the Senate followed a motion sponsored by Ibrahim Gobir, Senator representing Sokoto East, and eight other senators.
While moving his motion on the floor of the senate on Wednesday, Gobir drew attention to an attack on a military base in Sokoto at the weekend.
At least 16 security operatives comprising soldiers, police, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were killed in the attack.
The Senator said losing such a high number of security operatives will deplete the number of personnel the country needs to tackle insecurity.
“Most of the bandits have now relocated to Sabo Birni and Isa LGAs due to the sustained military operations in Zamfara,” he said.
“The present military onslaught on the bandits is not well coordinated because it is only being orchestrated in Zamfara instead of all front lines ravaged by banditry. The operation should be holistic,” he added.
The motion was adopted after Senate President Ahmad Lawan put it to a voice vote.
What you should know
Bandits have been ravaging the northern part of Nigeria, especially in the Northwest region, with thousands of people killed and many others kidnapped for ransom.
Several school children have been abducted by bandits, holding them hostage for months and releasing them after collecting ransom.
On Tuesday, bandits sacked a Kaduna village and killed 34 people.
President Buhari has resisted calls to declare the bandits as terrorists even after they gunned down an Airforce jet in July.