Senator representing Katsina Central Senatorial District, Kabir Abdullahi Barkiya has stated that bandits have been declared terrorists and don’t deserve to live or be spared for any reason.
He called on the Nigerian military and other security agents to take the war to the forest, sacrifice a few civilians held captive and bomb everyone in forests as a way of ending attacks and hostage-taking for ransom in the country.
The aggrieved lawmaker, in an interview with DAILY POST in Abuja, spoke at the backdrop of endless attacks with human casualties in Katsina and the other northwest states, saying that the government has been doing its best, which is not enough.
He argued that it was time for drastic action to be taken since the menace has defied all approaches.
In an interview with DAILY POST, he insisted that security agents shouldn’t spare anyone including captives who have been used as human shields by terrorists to escape the onslaught of security agents.
According to him, security operatives, including every civilian know the terrorists’ hideous, thus, it would be easier to target the bombings of their abodes.
He said: “I said in the chamber that these are terrorists having been declared so, hence, they deserved to die. Let’s sacrifice a few civilians in their captivity and bomb them once and for all. Unless we do that, this issue of insecurity will not end.
“We know where they are living in the forests, so why can’t we go and bomb all of them there? They are terrorists for kidnapping people, collecting ransom and killing people and why should they be spared for any reason?
“During my contribution on Tuesday, you see that the government is saying they’re doing their best, but their best is not enough. That is just what I said because we cannot sit down and see that every day those that are declared terrorists are killing our people, attacking them and kidnapping them and nothing is done.
“Then, I called on the Federal Government and said, look, something serious has to be done. Enough is enough and we have to take drastic action against these terrorists.
Reacting to a suggestion by Governor Bello Masari of Katsina State weeks ago that everyone should be allowed to bear arms for self-defence, the lawmaker explained that the governor spoke out of experience, having done his best to no avail.
“Of course, the governor has tried his best and other security agencies, the military; Police; DSS; NIA. Maybe they are not doing enough and that’s why the governor said, let everybody bear arms for self-defence and make sure that at least one can protect himself,” he said.
He further revealed how he once challenged the Chief of Air Staff for not doing enough by the use of fighter jets.
“Some time ago, I invited the Chief of Air Staff and I told him to go and remove all his jets from Katsina because once they start flying, the sounds will be disturbing the people for nothing and immediately they land, bandits start to operate and I said, what is the essence then?
“Then he told me that the soundless jet have been procured. Where are there, let them come. Good enough, if the soundless jets can move into forests silently and bomb terrorists, because we have been praying for God to change their hearts and asked God to hear our prayer, but that is not the case.
“There is no day passed in the National Assembly without a bill or motion with regards to security challenges, particularly in the northwest states like Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Niger and others. Are we going to fold our arms and allow this to continue?”
The lawmaker further expressed concern that he was a member of the amnesty team which was constituted by the governor, saying that they all went to the bandits’ hideout at their risk with amnesty option which they agreed, but resumed attacks and abduction for ransom after five months.
“Let me tell you that my governor, Alhaji Aminu Masari formed a team and we went into the forest with amnesty option because we write them; reach them before going into the bush and our families were afraid.
“The governor said, let all of us enter the forest which I was there about 100 kilometres away from the state to negotiate for amnesty. We discussed and the terrorists agreed and after just four to five months, they resumed attacks on our vulnerable communities.
“Besides, the security agents like military, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Police, DSS and others are not under the executive governor and at the federal level here, the National Assembly has been appropriating billions, but where are the funds? Some time ago in the Senate chambers, I challenge the Chief of Defence Staff.
“I told him that we have been appropriating billions of naira to you to the extent that in 2020 alone, we appropriated N450 billion, but of all these, only N30 billion was used for arms and ammunition. Can you imagine this? I challenged him because out of N450 billion appropriated, N30 billion for arms and equipment was too small to fight the insurgents.
“Where are the much-publicised Tucano jets. I recalled that the National Assembly passed a supplementary budget to enable the purchase of Tucano, but where are those jets? So, everybody has to come together and be brave enough to see how we can come out of this mess,” he said.