- Mourn Victims Of Security Crisis
- Demand Emergency Session On Insecurity
A coalition of Civil Society Organisations, numbering 30 and scores of concerned Nigerians on Friday, held a procession in Lagos to mourn the victims of violent killings across Nigeria.
The groups called on the Rt. Honourable Mudashiru Obasa-led Lagos House of Assembly to convene an emergency session of the Assembly on the state of security in Nigeria and particularly in Lagos.
Dubbed the ‘National Day of Mourning,’ the Nigerian mourners who signed up to the citizens-led initiative converged at under bridge, Ikeja-Lagos, from where they began their procession, which terminated at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Alausa-Ikeja.
Dressed in black T-shirt, the mourners decried the current security situation in the nation which has continued to cut short Nigerian lives in their prime, including policemen and members of the Nigerian military.
Some of the captions on the placards displayed by the mourners read: ‘Nigeria Mourns’, ‘Secure Nigeria’, ‘Banditry, Kidnapping, Insecurities, Who’s Next?’ among other inscriptions as they sang sombre songs to mourn the victims of the horrendous killings.
Executive Director, Corporate Accountability and Public ParticipationAfrica (CAPPA) — convener of the initiative — Comrade Akinbode Oluwafemi, while addressing members of the Lagos State House of Assembly led by Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Wasiu Esinlokun, read out names of several Nigerians who had become victims of extra-judicial killings as a result of the current security predicament roiling the nation.
Oluwafemi expressed solidarity with grieving communities across Nigeria as he lamented the death of several members of the Nigerian armed forces who have laid down their lives in the ongoing war against insecurity.
The procession comes exactly a week after the ill-fated NAF plane came down in Kaduna last Friday, killing the Chief of Army staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 top officers of the Nigerian military who were on an official assignment.
The CAPPA Director said: “If we’re to do an evaluation based on first job description which is security of lives and property for every government, this present administration has failed.
“We’re here to remind them on their constitutional responsibility and to wake them up; security is not to be politicised, security is not to be sectionalized, in every state of this country, killings are going on” under several disguises.
He added that “ritual killings, kidnappings and the latest one — urban gang wars” have continued to send Nigerians to their early graves in droves, noting that “it’s the responsibility of the state to protect us from urban cult clashes.” “How did we get here?” Oluwafemi asked.
Deputy Director, Joint Action Front (JAF), Comrade Achike Chude said: “Nigerians are being killed everyday, atimes as much as 100-150 persons in one fell swoop. We are here to tell the politicians, the state actors that they need to get their acts together because we can’t continue to live in fear in our own country being constantly intimidated by anti-social elements — bandits, terrorists and kidnappers.”
Chude, who expressed confidence in the ability of the Nigerian state to restore security nationwide if high-level compromise is jettisoned, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to directly address Nigerians regularly on how his administration is tackling the security crisis to boost citizens’ confidence in the ongoing efforts.
A petition addressed to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Obasa by the coalition, entitled ‘Urgent Need to Address Grave Insecurity Situation as Nigerians Mourn,’ noted that Nigeria’s struggle with inordinate and escalating insecurity rooted in mass atrocities has continued unabatedly with the ﬁgures in 2020 reaching about 4,556 killings, a signiﬁcant increase beyond the 2019 figure which was 3188.
Received on behalf of Obasa by the Deputy Speaker, the petition read, “the pattern of mass atrocities across the country continues to bear regional nuances, but the lines are increasingly getting blurred.
“Insurgency, pillages, and communal attacks characterize the major forms of atrocities in the North, while rival gang attacks, killings from mob actions, extrajudicial killings, politically motivated killings, and mob lynching, so-called unknown gunmen attacks and herdsmen attacks have become the order of the day in the south.”
The groups also asked the Speaker to convey the feelings and frustrations of Nigerians on the security situation to President Buhari being the chief security officer of the nation, with a view to coming up with a holistic solution to the problem.
Addressing the groups, the Deputy Speaker, Lagos Assembly, Hon. Esinlokun, noted that the house had adjourned to first of June, but promised that once the house reconvenes, the issues around insecurity in the country will be tabled before the Speaker and the entire Assembly to address the concerns of Nigerians.