The Senate on Tuesday at plenary commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent directive to launch a military offensive against bandits in Katsina State.
The commendation came against the backdrop of a motion considered on the need to integrate adjoining states of Niger, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kebbi and Sokoto.
The motion was sponsored by Sen. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC – Niger North).
The lawmaker, in his motion, recalled that Senate had on
May 12 considered two separate motions on the need for the Federal Government to immediately address the growing spate of banditry in Niger and Katsina States, respectively.
Abdullahi said the upper chamber was aware through a Presidential Spokesman that Buhari had authorised the commencement of a major military operation to sweep bandits and kidnappers out of Katsina state.
He said it was a major proactive measures by Special Forces to replace the reactive strikes against the camps of these bandits and criminals.
According to him, criminalities by these armed bandits and kidnappers are carried out mostly under the cover of the contagious forests reserves and areas stretching from Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger States with pockets of safe havens in Kebbi and Sokoto states.
He expressed concern that a major offensive in Katsina State alone was likely to make the armed bandits and kidnappers seek safer haven in Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger states.
He said the states which hosts the Zurmi and Kamuku forests among others, would further compound the plight of hapless and poor communities along the forest corridors.
“It was the earlier massive operations in Zamfara and Kaduna states that led the armed bandits to seek safe haven elsewhere, thus moving into Katsina and Niger States respectively; and some others pushing their luck to some parts of Sokoto and Kebbi States.
The Senate in its resolutions, accordingly appealed to President Buhari to expand the scope of the operations to include Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger and Sokoto States and any other surrounding areas.
It also appealed for an expansion of the operations to states that the armed bandits may want to seek safe haven following the massive operation.
The upper chamber also called on the Military formations and the Nigerian Police to increase their surveillance operation to track movements by these armed bandits to prevent them from accessing any safe haven.