By Henry Uche
Joint Action Civil Society Coalition has called on President Mohammed Buhari to rescue the country from imminent collapse.
In a statement delivered by the Executive Director of Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu, the groups which comprises: DoNigeriaRight, Action Aid, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and other 123 CSOs & NGOs, expressed sorrow over the state of the Nation, saying Nigeria bleeds profusely; hence decisive actions is needed urgently to end the carnage.
According to them, the bloodletting in the land is becoming unbecoming and the agony is excruciating as Nigeria continued to experience a decline in security across the nation, even as there was a sharp increase of 43% in mass atrocities report 2020.
They maintained that in the first quarter of 2021(January to March), Nigeria recorded an all-time quarterly report of almost 2000 fatalities from mass atrocities incidents across the country and a continuous escalated combustions of violence resulting in more deaths across the six geopolitical zones.
“In our last joint statement we issued in February 2021, we catalogued assorted mass atrocities plaguing the country particularly- The unending war in the North East with our troops often bearing the brunt of this government’s security failures.
“We observed gross injustices by President Buhari’s government against Nigerians such that peaceful protesters are threatened and attacked by government’s security agents while terrorists carrying out mass murder, rape, maiming and kidnapping of Nigerians including women and children are feted, molly coddled, granted ‘amnesty’ and paid by the government. 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,”
“We also observed 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. More so, large scale terrorist attacks in the North West irresponsibly tagged by the government as ‘banditry’ in a bid to downplay their criminality.
“There is industrial scale kidnappings all across the country; extrajudicial killings by State Security agents in various forms; Inter-ethnic violence and menace of political cult gangs and ethnic militia; and in that statement we had called on the government of General Muhammad Buhari to take immediate actions to: Provide political and moral leadership for the security crisis and ensure governmental actions are humane in tandem with Section 17 (2) (C) of the Constitution; we asked the president to end impunity for abuse of power and sectionalism through his appointments by balancing the need for competence with the federal character principle. In this way, he will demonstrate that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence.
“We also charged him to take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state, mobilize our rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets.
“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.
“We are appalled to note that despite our strongly worded statement, President Buhari’s government has failed to heed our call to fulfil his role as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and Nigeria’s democratically elected President. We are therefore left with no other option than to take action to drive home our call to the government.
“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 the 26th of 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 May 28th 2021 and boycott all Democracy Day activities on May 29, 2021 in protest of the deplorable state of our democracy.
“We again call on Muhammadu 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,” they asseverated.