/Banditry: Senate approves N10bn for persons displaced in Zamfara
Bill on HND as least qualification for president, gov scales second reading

Banditry: Senate approves N10bn for persons displaced in Zamfara

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The Senate on Wednesday proposed that N10 billion be added to the 2019 budget as an intervention fund to assist those displaced by banditry in Zamfara State.

Also, the Senate sought for the establishment of a 10-year Presidential Initiative which will address the needs of the victims of bandits in the state.

The proposal for the fund followed the approval of a motion by Senator Kabiru Marafa.

He said his motion was based on the terrible state of insecurity in the state.

According to him, it was unfortunate that the bandits and other criminals had operated without any restraint in the state.

His words:  “The activities of these armed bandits and cattle rustlers have since 2011 to date, resulted in the death of many people.

“This is in addition to creating humanitarian crises which included, but not limited to, growing number of widows, rape victims and orphans.

“A conservative estimate of 11,000 male adult have been killed by armed bandits, leaving behind an average of 22,000 widows, at 2 wives per person and an estimated 44,000 orphans, at an average of 4 children per deceased.

“Owing to cultural and religious consideration, the burden of these widows, orphans, rape victims and displaced persons are borne largely by close relatives.

“Their needs are borne by extended families and sometimes immediate neighbours, who are now overstretched to a point they can no longer cope.”

He said the alarming rate of insecurity led to the protest embarked upon, stressing the need to provide for N10 billion in the 2019 Appropriation as Intervention Fund to satisfy the needs of displaced individuals in the state.

The Federal Government, he said, should also set up an adhoc-committee with a 10 year life span to manage the said funds and subsequent allocation and donations.

The committee, he said, should be known as Presidential Initiatives on Zamfara State (PIZAMS).

Other suggestions by other lawmakers who contributed to the debate included that state police should be encouraged.

It was also suggested that constitutional amendment should be carried out to devolve more powers to the states as part of solutions to the problem.

Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, while speaking on the issue said there was need to establish state police to bring an end to the problem of insecurity in the country.

The suggestions as contained in the motion were put to voice vote and the Senate approved the inclusion of the fund and setting up of the ad-hoc committee.