Members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday debated the incessant killings by herdsmen in Benue State and other parts of the country, saying that the incidents confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had “failed.”
The House also invited Buhari to appear before members in plenary to explain the actions he had taken so far to halt the killings by making the security and welfare of Nigerians his priority.
The House asked the President to deploy full military presence in Benue State “within 24 hours” to smoke out the killer herdsmen for prosecution.
It also resolved that the President should declare the killer herdsmen as “terrorists.”
In addition, members agreed to shut down legislative duties for three days in protest against the unending killings in the country by herdsmen.
The motion to invite Buhari was moved by an All Progressives Congress member from Kano State, Mr. Bashir Baballe. It was passed in an unanimous voice vote.
The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, presided over Wednesday’s session.
Baballe moved, “We should summon Mr. President, he is the chief security officer of this country.
“Let him come here and appear to brief us. What has Mr. President been doing to address all these security challenges? We need to know.
“I move that we should summon Mr. President. “
He was seconded by another APC member from Yobe State, Mr. Goni Bukar, before the prayer was passed by members.
The lawmakers came to the conclusion after information filtered to them that 22 more persons had been massacred in Benue State by herdsmen in Guma and Daudu communities again on Wednesday morning.
This was barely 24 hours after 19 worshippers, including two Catholic priests, were gunned down during an early morning funeral Mass in Ayar Mbalom, Gwer-East Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday.
The torrents of condemnation followed a motion on urgent public importance moved by a member from Benue State, Mr. Mark Terseer-Gbillah, to bring to the attention of the House, an earlier attack on Nakka by soldiers on April 19.
Terseer-Gbillah, a member of the APC, recalled how the soldiers torched houses and killed two villagers to avenge the death of a soldier, believed to have been murdered by unknown persons in the area.
He informed the House that while the people of Benue had yet to come to terms with the incident, the killing of the priests and 17 worshippers occurred.
Terseer-Gbillah went on to disclose that just before he came for Wednesday’s session, he got fresh reports that 22 more villagers had been killed.
“Mr. Speaker, as we speak, what we hear is that another 22 lives have been taken this morning in Daudu, Guma.
“It will appear that war has been declared on Benue State. We have to investigate the alleged connivance by the army and other security agencies; their inability to carry out security duties in the state”, he added.
The member representing Makurdi/Guma Federal Constituency, Mr. Dickson Takighir, confirmed the latest killings as he contributed to the debate.