The Senate, yesterday, condemned Monday’s multiple bomb blasts in Kano which claimed many lives, leaving others injured and property worth millions of naira destroyed and urged President Goodluck Jonathan to, as a matter of urgency, adopt another possible approach in addressing terrorism in the country.
According to the Senate, it has become imperative to look for another formula against the backdrop that current methods being used by the government may have failed and no longer result-oriented.
The lawmakers, however, regretted that terrorism activities in the country had assumed a more worrisome dimension, in spite of government’s efforts at nipping it in the bud.
Meanwhile, Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, PDP, Abia North, while raising a point of order at yesterday’s plenary, however, lampooned Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State over what he termed the governor’s indifference on the killings in his state.
He said that 80 per cent of victims of the attack were Igbo and that the remaining 20 per cent were Southerners from different ethnic groups.
He added that the issue of insecurity in the country was threatening the land as well as putting the unity of the land under threat, even as he advised the Federal Government to multiply its approach to the menace which, he said, needed to be effectively tackled with a sense of discipline.
According to Senator Chukwumerije, it was sad that the governor had vehemently refused to make himself available 24 hours after the ugly incident took place.
The Senator noted that it was unfortunate, sad and unheard of that a sitting governor will refuse to express sympathy with people and families of people who fell victims of such tragedy under his nose.
‘’Why has the governor of Kano not considered it fit to pay a condolence visit to the motor park more than 24 hours after the event? The governor’s failure to do this has robbed the state (Kano) of the opportunity of projecting the terrorists as a fringe clique outside the mainstream of the society,” he said.
Chukwumerije who explained that the targets of Boko Haram had been based on the fault lines of ethnicity and religion, stressed that Kwankwaso’s nonchalant attitude to such a gruesome disaster, missed the golden opportunity to project the terrorists as only a clique within the mainstream of the society, adding that the families of the victims had rejected mass burial for their departed relatives as they demanded that their corpses be released to them quietly.
Senator Chukwumerije was immediately supported by Senator Kabiru Gaya, ANPP, Kano South, whose senatorial district, the latest bomb attack took place, even as he stressed that forces behind the killings were practically working against the unity of the country, adding that Kano residents now live in fear.
According to him, school pupils in Kano stayed at home on Tuesday because of fear of being attacked following the invasion of a school which led to the killing of teachers in Maiduguri, just as he advised the Federal Government to dialogue with Boko Haram and grant amnesty to members.
Senator Gaya said, ‘’everyday in Kano, people are being attacked, nobody is safe. Children are not going to school and we have a government whose role is to provide security,”
He called on increased police presence in Kano State, noting that the recent “attack in Kano has brought to the fore the lopsidedness of police deployment to the state”.
According to him, Kano which has a population of nine million had only 8,000 policemen compared with Lagos and Rivers States which he noted, had 33,000 and 32,000 respectively with Kaduna State having 33,000 in that order.
Senators at the end of the day, observed a minute silence in honour of the dead.
In his remarks, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the session urged the Federal Government to consider what he referred to as “other possible options to end the spate of terror attacks in the country”.
Ekweremadu who was silent on his preferred option, said the relevant Senate standing committees would meet to recommend the options that would be forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration.
Senator Ekweremadu conveyed the condolence of the Senate to the relations of the victims of the incident and described the killings as regrettable.