Insecurity: Over 120 CSOs, activists call for protests, boycott of Democracy Day activities

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A coalition of over 120 civil society organisations (CSO) and activists has called on Nigerians to join series of mass actions in different parts of Nigeria on 26 May to register their displeasure about the worsening state of insecurity in the country.

The coalition in a statement on Sunday also urged Nigerian citizens to join “solemn assemblies” to mark what it described as the 4th national day of mourning and remembrance for victims of mass atrocities on 28 May.

In addition, it called on Nigerians to boycott the activities lined up by the government for this year’s Democracy Day.

Although Nigeria’s Democracy Day now holds on 12 June it was erroneously stated in the statement as of 29 May which used to be the date for the annual national event until it was changed in 2018.

The coalition in its statement titled, ‘State of the Nation: A Call to President Muhammadu Buhari to Stop the Bleeding and Take Action to End the Carnage’, also lamented the horrendous breakdown of law and order across Nigeria.

The groups catalogued series of mindless killings, kidnappings and destruction of public property by criminals since the first quarter of the year.

“Following its sharp increase of 43 per cent in mass atrocities 2020, Nigeria has continued to experience a decline in security across the nation. In the first quarter of 2021 (January to March), we recorded an all-time quarterly high of almost 2000 fatalities from mass atrocities incidents across the country,” the statement read in parts.

It added, “We are therefore calling on all Nigerians to register their displeasure with the state of affairs across the country by participating a series of mass actions from Monday 26 May 2021, participate in solemn assemblies across the country to commemorate the 4th National Day of Mourning and Remembrance of Victims of Mass Atrocities on 28 May 2021 and boycott all Democracy Day activities on 29 May 2021, in protest of the deplorable state of our democracy.

The coalition accused Buhari of “gross injustices against the Nigerian people by clamping down on peaceful protesters, while terrorists carrying out mass murder, rape, maiming and kidnapping of Nigerians including women and children are feted, mollycoddled, granted ‘amnesty’ and paid by the government.”

The groups said the pampering of terrorists by the Buhari-led government amounts to “treason” against the people.

“Terrorist herder attacks on unarmed farming communities and reprisal attacks in the face of government inaction and failure to bring the terrorist herdsmen and their funders to justice.

“We again call on Buhari led national government and the state governments to rise up to their constitutional duties as enshrined in S14(2)(b), to ensure the security and welfare of all Nigerians, and pull the nation back from the path of destruction,” the statement read.

The CSOs had in their February statement, charged Buhari to halt the drifting of Nigeria to a state of anarchy by providing the desperately needed “political and moral leadership” that is lacking in the country.

The CSOs include Action Aid, Adinya Arise Foundation, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), Bauchi Human Rights Network, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution.

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