“In three months, bandits, kidnappers others killed 90 people in Niger” says CSO
Daniel Okpole Atori, Minna
No fewer than ninety persons have been confirmed killed between January and March, 2020 across Niger State due to various insecurity challenges that have bedevilled the State.
This is despite claims of scalingup the security apparatus at flashpoints across the State especially its border towns to forestall Insecurity.
As part of activities to mark this year’s National Day of Mourning (NDoM), the Convener, Niger Accountability Group and State Coordinator, National Day of Mourning (NDoM), Mathew Oladele while addressing Journalists on Thursday called on all citizens to join their voices including corporate entities, government establishments and security agencies to fly their flags at half-mast for the half of this day in honor of those who have been killed.
The State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello had on several occasions declared that, the Government is in talks with security agencies as part of efforts to end insecurity in parts of the State, noting that the State has been confronted with security challenges in recent times and that the government will not relent in doing everything possible to ensure that it ends them.
According to Oladele, “between 2018 and now, we have recorded deaths in couples of hundreds of Nigerlites to violent killings across the State; with the first quarter of 2020 alone have recorded ninety (90) deaths. Yet, without much ado from government.
“Since we are still grappling with the level of insecurities and the growing series of impunity that necessitated yearly NDOM –
“We have cases of brutality by security agents, increase in armed banditry, kidnapping, Boko Haram, militia herdsmen, cultism, extra judicial killings, electoral violence and other forms of violence that have resulted to death and displacement of citizens.
“We are holding this civil action annually in memory of victims of mass violence/killings in Niger State and the country at large. This day, 28th, May of every year is set aside as a National Day of Mourning and Remembrance for all victims of violent killings and Mass Atrocities across Nigeria.”
Oladele said, National Day of Mourning and Remembrance is a citizen-led initiative to express solidarity, and demand accountability for the lapses in security and welfare of all Nigerians. This is anomaly that must end.
Our citizens are more than numbers, Our Communities and state deserve to live peacefully.”
He lamented that, “as Nigerlites are being killed, so also we are being displaced from our communities and left to be living at IDP camps in our own land and our livelihoods are laid to ruin, the government has shown itself unwilling or unable to confront these killings to put an end to them.
“And by so doing, Government has abdicated its constitutional duty to guarantee the safety, security, and wellbeing of all who live within the State’s geographical boundaries. Our leaders have fueled the embers of mistrust ascribing their failure to protect lives and property to ill-founded narratives of ethnic, partisan, and religious mischief.”
The State Coordinator however called on concerned authorities to end conflicts in the region by immediately ordering a full investigation into the killings to fish out perpetrators of the crisis to justice.
“Ensure the adequate provision of humanitarian aid and assistance to communities displaced by armed bandits; Ensure an urgent accounting of the missing persons through kidnapping to regain their freedom and the dead caused by armed bandits, and an estimation of the loss incurred by individuals and impacted communities at Shiroro, Rafi, Munya, Lapai, Paiko, Mashegu and Wushishi LGAs”, he added.
Furthemore, he urged the state government to engage security agencies, security experts, Civil Society Organizations and the media to sensitize community members at various hotspots across the state on community policing.