Scores of Nigerians assembled at the Unity Fountain in Abuja to arrange a dissent against the progressing killings across the country.
On Wednesday, protesters went out for a stroll from Unity Fountain to Aso Rock to “request that the Federal Government accomplish more to guarantee the security and welfare of Nigerians.”
“The Federal Executive Council meets on Wednesdays and an uproarious message will be sent to Mr President, Mr Vice President, the 36 Governors, all Ministers and the Security Chiefs,”.
A coalition of civic organisations – EiE Nigeria, Bring Back Our Girls Movement, Global Rights, Our Mumu Don Do, CODE, Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD), Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM), Concerned Nigerians, Reclaim Naija (CLP), BudgIT, Emerging Political Leaders Summit, while announcing the protest said:
According to Amnesty International, 1,813 Nigerians have died from Jan 1 – June 27, 2018 to Boko Haram, herdsmen-farmer, communal & banditry killings. According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), Nigeria became the 2nd most violent state in Africa in 2017.
According to the Nigeria Security Tracker managed by the Council on Foreign Relations in the US, 7,335 Nigerians have died due to violent conflict between May 2015 and June 2018.
The lack of data from the Federal Government, which is responsible for the security and welfare of Nigerians has resulted in various organisations providing different data about the fatalities across Nigeria.
The spate of killings across the country has taken on a scary dimension in the last few months and citizens have been disappointed in government’s seeming lack of capacity to keep Nigerians safe. Citizens in Adamawa, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Plateau, Taraba & Zamfara have have been killed for various reasons – economic, culture clashes, banditry & opportunism to name a few in the first 6 months of this year.
Layered on this is the politics of election season and the fact that Nigeria has the largest number of small arms in the sub-region.
It is time for all Nigerians who desire peace and who love this country to unite and speak with one voice and urge the government to take greater action to stop these killings.
Civil society organisations are planning a range of sustained activities to raise awareness; challenge government to do more to protect the lives of citizens; give people from the affected communities an opportunity to share their stories and promote peaceful coexistence.