The senate on Wednesday called on security agencies to intensify efforts to find the army general, Mohammed Idris Alkali, and other Nigerians who have been missing.

It also urged the federal government to set up an investigative panel of enquiry to examine and determine the remote and immediate circumstances surrounding the dumping of cars in the ponds in Dura-Du district of Plateau State.

Alkali, a retired major-general, was declared missing September 3, while driving to Bauchi from Abuja.

After a few weeks, the army said it received intelligence that the general’s body or car was in the pond.

The draining of water from the pond was earlier protested by the women of the community who appeared in black, claiming that the pond has ancestral inclination.

Their protest was unsuccessful.

Newsmen had reported how the community was cordoned off and people were arrested in the early hours of the day, following the discovery of the car in which the general was travelling in.

A blood-stained T-Shirt and a boxer short, believed to belong to the general, were also found in the car on a Saturday evening by a combined security team. Two days later, more vehicles were recovered from the ‘death pool.’

The army on Friday dismissed the rumour that two corpses were discovered in the pond.

The senate’s call followed a motion moved by Mohammed Hassan (PDP, Yobe South) who stressed that the disappearance of numerous commuters along the Dura-Du axis for the past few years, especially Bauchi on-ward bound travellers, needs to be addressed urgently.

He explained that the most recent incident raises some pertinent questions.

“Why did the people from Du Community refuse to assist the security agencies during the search? Why did the people (women) try to prevent the army from draining the water?

“Why didn’t the community raise a formal complaint from the local government to the state government about the draining of the water? And who were those spreading false information about the circumstances of the disappearance of Maj. Gen IM Alkali and what (was) their motives?”

While acknowledging the thoroughness of the investigation of the Nigerian army and other security agencies who narrowed their search to the pond, he admonished members of the senate to call on the federal government to intervene.

The senate also resolved to set up an investigative panel to “identify and interrogate possible suspects in this dastardly act and ensure that the perpetrators face the full wrath of the law, to serve as deterrence to other criminally minded persons in the strongest possible terms.”

It also condemned the act and urged all the surrounding communities (Du axis) to cooperate with security agencies to uncover this crime and criminality.

The disappearance of Alkali, the immediate past director of administration in the Nigerian army, comes barely two months after he retired.

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