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Taraba killings: Lawmakers reiterate call for forest guards

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Tiv Jukun Taraba State
A young boy pushes a wheelbarrow past he wreckage of a burnt vehicle and burning shops following a bomb blast at Terminus market in the central city of Jos on May 20, 2014. Twin car bombings on Tuesday killed at least 46 in central Nigeria in the latest in a series of deadly blasts that will stoke fears about security despite international help in the fight against Boko Haram Islamists. AFP PHOTO / STR

Disturbed by repeated killings by suspected bandits in the southern area of Taraba state, two members of the House of Representatives, Shawulu Kwewum and Danjuma Usman, have called for more recruitment into the armed forces, as well as establishment of forest guards across Nigeria.

The lawmakers, in a motion under matters of urgent importance, presented during an emergency plenary of the House on Wednesday, said the attacks have seen innocent civilians and soldiers killed, stressing the need to increase the capacity of the armed forces and security agencies to forestall further loss of lives.

Briefing journalists after successfully moving the motion on the floor, Usman said in the last one month, communities in southern Taraba have been facing serious challenges, adding that “three days ago, 42 persons were killed and several communities destroyed, and we’re told told is that these bandits are coming from Plateau and Borno States.”

The lawmaker who had sponsored a Bill, progress of which he regretted was slow, also used the opportunity to call for the establishment of forest guards, using locals within affected areas, a move he noted will serve complementary role in intelligence gathering for the security forces.

They recalled in the motion that on Tuesday 10th May 2022, bandits/terrorist attacked Tati village in Takum local government area of Taraba state, a farming community and razed it down

“In response to several distress calls made by the residents, Security agency mobilized scantily to the area; the bandits ambushed the security agents who were outnumbered and in the ensuing face off, six soldiers  were killed; this was after the bandits had earlier killed a policeman at a check point and other civilians at Tati. The Commander of the 93 Battalion is missing in action”, he said.

The House in adopting the motion observed a minute silence in honour of those killed, as it urged the Chief of Army Staff and Inspector-General of Police to deploy more security men to effectively secure the Takum LGA in Taraba State and fish out the bandits.

While urging NEMA to prior idle relief materials for survivors, the House urged the intelligence agencies to take steps to fish out the sponsors of these bandits so that they are made to face the law, as well as all tiers of government to ensure the shortage of men in the armed forces is urgently addressed.