State of the nation: CSOs call for peaceful mass action, boycott of Democracy Day

MORE than 100 civil society organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria have called for peaceful mass action from Monday 26 and boycott of Democracy Day activities to register their displeasure over the current state of affairs of the country.

This is contained in a statement jointly signed by the CSOs on Sunday and made available to The ICIR.

The organisations called on Nigerians to participate in ‘solemn assemblies’ to commemorate the 4th National Day of Mourning and Remembrance of Victims of Mass Atrocities on May 28th, 2021.

According to the statement, the call for mass action was a result of the increase in mass atrocities in Nigeria by 43 per cent in 2020 and the government’s refusal to decisively act against the atrocities despite much advice.

The groups noted that during their last statement in February, they had highlighted how ‘gross injustices’ had marred the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through attacks on peaceful protesters and cuddling of terrorists via offering of amnesty.

“This is tantamount to funding and supporting terrorists, encouraging murder and the decimation of the Nigeria’s gallant troops and amounts to treason against the Nigerian State and people,” the statement read in part.

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The civil society organisations also called on Buhari to take immediate action against terrorist herder attacks, large-scale terrorist attacks in the North-West, industrial-scale kidnappings, sectionalism through appointments as well as an end to the persecution of the media and free speech.

    “We had also demanded that where the President fails to fulfill his constitutional duties as stated above, that he steps aside, or, that the National Assembly initiates impeachment proceedings against him on grounds of gross misconduct as provided for in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the group stated.

    The civil society organisations noted that they were appalled that despite the previous statement, President Buhari’s government had failed to heed the call to fulfil his role as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and Nigeria’s democratically elected president, hence the call for mass action.

    The statement was signed by: Action Aid,  African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD), African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), CEE-HOPE Nigeria,  Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) West Africa, Connected Development (CODE), Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria, YIAGA Africa.

    Others were: Arise Foundation, Adopt A Goal for Development Initiative, Advocacy Center for Development, All-4-One Humanity Development Foundation, Alliances for Africa, Ayodeji Fadugba, Baobab for Women’s Human Rights, Bauchi Human Rights Network, Benevolent Initiative for Development, Benue We Deserve (BenDef), Bimbo Odukoya Foundation (BOF), Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED), Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), SBM Intelligence, among several others.

    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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