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Senate warns Boko haram promoting anti-Plateau state rhetoric to cause war, condemns killings

The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday condemned the abduction and killings of citizens from Plateau State by Boko Haram and warned that the anti-Plateau hate narrative by Boko Haram is aimed at dividing Nigerians along ethno-religious lines.

The upper house of parliament’s condemnation formed part of resolutions reached by the upper chamber sequel to a motion considered and brought to the floor on Wednesday by Senator Istifanus Gyang (PDP, Plateau North).

Gyang who relied on order 42 and 52 of Senate Standing Rules, in his motion titled “Anti-Plateau Narrative and Killings Orchestrated by Boko Haram: A Ploy to Polarize Nigerian Citizens Along Ethno-Religious Divides”, said a total of 27 lives were lost on Tuesday in the renewed bloodbath carried out by insurgents in Kwattas, Ruboi and Marish communities in Plateau State. 

“The consequential effects of this defective anti-Plateau narrative has led to the abduction of over 6 persons: 4 males and 2 females. Three boys including an undergraduate of the University of Maiduguri, were brutally murdered by Boko Haram at close range gunshots,” Senator Gyang said.

According to Gyang, “the anti-Plateau hate narrative are reminiscent of the Nazi Germany episode where the Nazi supremacist regime promoted the demonization of Jews and incited anti-Semitism as a justification for the subsequent gas-chamber genocide against the Jews.”

“The xenophobic and hateful narrative being orchestrated by Boko Haram is intended to set other Nigerian citizens against those of Plateau origin,” the federal lawmaker warned.

He added that the killings by Boko Haram is an “attempt by the fanatical sect to whip up religious and ethnic sentiments of unsuspecting Nigerians and to shift attention from its evil acts that have not spared Muslims and other Nigerian citizens of all classes and creeds from North to South, East to West.”

The Senate in its resolution urged the federal government to take additional steps to secure Nigerian citizens and in particular, those of Plateau origin who have become targets of abduction and persecution by Boko Haram.

The Chamber also urged the authorities of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Jos; and Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi to absorb all undergraduate and post graduate students of Plateau State origin currently studying in the University of Maiduguri as their safety is gravely jeopardized.

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, also on Wednesday referred President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the confirmation of Dr. Isitua Obiora as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions for further legislative work.

Also considered was President Buhari’s request for the confirmation of Professor Adeolu Akande as Chairman; and Uche Onwude as member of the Nigerian Communications Commission, which was sent to the Senate Committee on Communications.

The confirmation request for Musa Nuhu as Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was also referred to the Senate Committee on Aviation.

The committees were given two weeks to submit their reports on the President’s confirmation requests to the Chamber in plenary, a statement by the Senate President’s office stated.

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