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National Assembly, FG will work against banditry — Speaker


The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, said on Monday in Katsina State the National Assembly would ensure that the Federal Government developed a plan to end banditry and kidnapping in the state and other states.



He gave the assurance during a visit to Governor Aminu Masari in Katsina.



The Speaker was in Katsina on a-one day official visit.



He said, “State cannot deal with the issue like this on its own. Issues like this are complicated and very complex and we believe the Federal Government must do something to assist the state in ending this nagging problem.



“As a National Assembly, beyond all the motions that we moved on the floor of the House when these issues happened, we will support you and the Federal Government to put an end to this problem.



“We pray and hope we will be able to complement what you are doing to find lasting solution to this nagging problem of insecurity.”



The Speaker lauded Masari’s peace initiative, saying it had led to the release of some kidnap victims.



Masari, in his response, said 61 kidnapped victims had been released without any ransom.



He said, “Even yesterday (Sunday), 11 people were brought back from their abductors from Batsari Local Government Area and early hours of this morning (Monday), we took five. We are following events in Batsari and we are able to locate where the problem is coming from.”



The governor observed that herdsmen had been neglected by various governments, hence the herders/farmers clash and other crimes in the country.



He said, “This has been systematic, there have been supports to farmers and other occupations but there was never a single programme designed to address the issue of Fulani herdsmen.



“They were left in the forest uneducated both islamically and in western education. And the grazing reserved areas have been abandoned and overtaken by farmers. By 1987 when the state was created, the population was about 3.7 million. Today we are talking about between 7 and 7.5 million.



“We must have a rehabilitation programme on how to make the forests conducive for people who live in them. What we are trying to do now is to normalise the situation and start addressing the fundamentals because unless you normalise the issue, the area will not be peaceful enough for you to do anything”.
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