The Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED) strongly condemns the rising wave of insecurity that has resulted in the loss of countless precious lives and properties across the country.
This was contained in a statement on Wednesday by CHRICED’s Executive Director, Comrade Dr. Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi.
According to the statement, It is unfortunate that despite the start of a new year, many families and communities across the country continued to grapple with the country’s existential crisis. Not only are the Nigerian people burdened by the country’s severe economic situation, but many also have to live with the reality of total security collapse.
Other parts of the statement read; The situation has not changed despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to security agencies to immediately restore peace to the troubled areas. It is also unacceptable and worrisome that, with less than four weeks to the 2023 General Elections, various sorts of criminality have engulfed different regions of Nigeria.
In the face of the criminals’ lethal activities, the victims are left to nurse their wounds, mourn, and bury their dead, while life goes on. The audacious and criminal assault on human lives has now reached industrial proportions, while the government, which has the constitutional obligation to protect lives and property, continues to demonstrate its lack of capacity to act.
CHRICED is concerned that the daily killing of Nigerians is becoming normalized. CHRICED also observes with much pain that the criminals continue to carry on with their nefarious activities uninterrupted for hours before escaping and leaving a trail of sorrows, tears, and blood.
Just a few days ago, hoodlums attacked in Niger State, killing Reverend Father Achi, a Catholic priest who was burned to death in his home after his assailants were unable to force their way in. In a similar situation, five worshippers at a church in Katsina State, President Buhari’s home state, were abducted by bandits-turned-terrorists.
The terrorists also shot and injured the pastor of the church, who was not abducted with the worshippers. The attack on a train station in Igueben, Edo State, is still fresh in the minds of those who were kidnapped, with some still being held captive.
These attacks call into question the Nigerian State’s willingness and determination to use its might and resources to restore calm to all troubled parts.
While CHRICED applauds patriotic members of the security forces who are defying the odds and putting their lives on the line for the safety of their fellow citizens, it is unfortunate that political leaders are failing to provide the necessary support to aid these brave men and women in doing their work.
While most political leaders are ensconced in the comfort of their heavily fortified homes and drive around in bulletproof cars to avoid being targeted, scores of citizens are slaughtered and wasted as if human lives no longer matter in this country. It is a huge disappointment and a let-down that no single day in Nigeria goes by without scores of people being killed by the wanton killers who have besieged the land.
Since Section 14 (2b) of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 makes it explicit that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government,” it is no longer acceptable for the government to remain mute in the face of the regular slaughter of Nigerians. Regrettably, in the face of this onslaught, the National Assembly has failed to fulfill its obligation to oversee the executive and has instead continued to serve as a rubber stamp for the executive.
CHRICED believes that the government can no longer stand by and watch as citizens are killed all over the country. In case they have forgotten, Nigerians must unite to remind the government that it is their primary responsibility to protect lives and property.
The upcoming general elections provide another opportunity for citizens to elect credible and responsive leaders with the capacity who will not remain silent in the face of the people’s travails. That opportunity presented by the ballot box must be used to elect, credible, responsive, and responsible leaders, who would identify with the pains of the people and do take steps to alleviate them.