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Coalition of CSOs says over 5000 killed so far in 2018, laments FG’s inaction
A coalition of Civil Society Organisations says more than 5000 persons have been killed so far in 2018, but the federal government appear helpless.
The coalition, comprising Global Rights, Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria, Bring Back Our Girls Movement, Connected Developmeny (CODE), Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD), BudgIT, YIAGA, among others, lamented that mass killings are going on in all the regions of Nigeria, yet “there has been neither arrest nor diligent prosecution” of those involved.
“While the killings have been particularly pronounced in the Middle Belt of Nigeria, no region of the country has been spared from the spate of insecurity,” the group said in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.
“We as citizens are appalled by government’s failure to diligently protect lives and property. From community to community, the narrative of organized criminal groups attacking unarmed, vulnerable citizens and taking over their homes and communities has persisted.
“Without doubt, the festering impunity has emboldened these attackers who continue to expand their dragnet and the effrontery with which they attack these communities.
“While our government claims that it is doing its “best” and encourages us to pray under the circumstances, hundreds of Nigerians are being killed each week.
“More worrisome has been the lack of urgency and proactiveness on the part of government to end these killings and bring perpetrators to book.”
The coalition stressed that President Muhammadu Buhari took an oath to ensure the protection of lives and property of Nigerians, but added that by the President’s inaction in the face of the continued killings, he is “compromising the territorial integrity of our great nation”.
“You (President Buhari) and your service chiefs have managed to send the terrifying message that Nigerian lives are cheap and can be surrendered as collateral damage in the game of numbers and political domination,” the statement read in part.
“We denounce this nonchalance and demand accountability of our government, (and) we demand (that) the Nigerian government must account for EVERY life lost!
“Different organizations have the figures of the number of Nigerians that have died. It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to account for every Nigerian life lost and document them.
“(We demand) the deployment of security resources across the country – particularly to communities vulnerable to these attacks. Considering the hefty budgetary allocations assigned to security by both state and federal government, the claim of a lack of resources will be an unacceptable excuse!”
Also, the coalition demanded that “since the present crop of security service chiefs have failed their mandate, they must be immediately sacked and replaced with competent Nigerians who are able to deliver security and peace with integrity across the country”.
“In light of the recent protest by police officers in Maiduguri who have indicted the Inspector General of Police (Ibrahim Idris), there is obviously a competence issue.”
The coalition reminded Buhari that “the Office of the Citizen”, not that of the President, “is the HIGEST office in land”.
“Should the public officers whom we have elected to protect us fail, we will not hesitate to replace them.”