Insecurity: Buhari, Governors have failed Nigerians – CSOs
The coalition of civil society organisations in Nigeria has said that President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors have failed in their responsibility of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians.
It therefore called on the House of Assembly to initiate impeachment proceedings against the President if insecurity persists in the country.
In a statement made available to the media on Sunday, the coalition, decried the spate of security concerns bedevilling the country, noting that the herder-farmer crisis, ethnic imbalances and wanton kidnappings have dominated the country’s atmosphere.
It therefore adjudged President Buhari to have failed in his primary duty as contained in the 1999 constitution of the country.
The Coalition described it’s action as a move to discourage a new precedent of “kidnapping for ransom.”
It revealed that, “Despite government’s denial, the abducted school boys of Kankara told the Wall Street Journal that a ransom was paid for their release. After Wednesday’s abduction of 27 students from Government Science School, Kagara, the Federal government finds itself, once again, in a dark spot.
“We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, what has now become the government’s standard state policy of using taxpayers’ money to pay terrorists thereby funding and encouraging terrorism and criminality.”
It went ahead to accuse Buhari’s Government of irresponsibly downplaying criminality in the North-West by tagging it banditry; supporting extrajudicial killings by State Security agents and perpetrating gross injustices through clampdown on peaceful protesters contrary to the molly-cuddling of terrorists.
The coalition demand that the president provides political and moral leadership for the security crisis militating against the country in line Section 17 (2) C of the constitution which calls on government to be humane with its actions.
It challenged the president to end the persecution of the media; end impunity for the abuse of power and sectionalism through his appointments and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets, while charging the House of Assembly to exercise the provisions of Section 143 of the 1999 constitution to begin impeachment proceedings against the president, should he fail to heed their call.
The Civil Society Organisations that formed the coalition are: Centre for Democracy and Development, Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Media Rights Agenda, Centre fir Information Technology and Development, Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project, Zero-Corruption Coalition, Molluma Medico-Legal Center and Femi Falana Chamber.
Others are; Partners on Electoral Reform, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, National Procurement Watch Platform, Praxis Center, Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil education, Social Action, Community Action for Popular Participation, Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress, Global Rights, Alliance for Credible Elections and House of Justice.
The remaining include; Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement, Tax Justice and Governance Platform, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria, Women in Nigeria, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre, Community Life Project, Nigerian Feminist Forum, State of the Union.
Alliances for Africa, Spaces fir Change, Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, BudgiT Foundation, Action International Nigeria, HEDA Resource Centre, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, Organization Community Civic Engagement, Say NO Campaign—Nigeria, Women in Media, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, and Sesor Empowerment Foundation.
The Full Text below
NATIONAL SECURITY: BUHARI & Governors HAVE SO FAR, FAILED.
Nigeria is in dire straits. All over the country, Nigerian citizens, including children, are killed daily by terrorists and criminals as well as in extra-judicial killings by state actors with the government doing little or nothing about it. The government, through the Minister of Defence, has instead callously abdicated its responsibility and called Nigerian citizens ‘cowards’ and urged Nigerians to ‘defend themselves’.
Kidnapping for ransom has assumed an industrial and deadly scale never witnessed on the African continent. Our children are no longer safe in schools and Nigerian citizens and communities are now pauperised by terrorists who extort huge ransoms while murdering their hostages. We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, what has now become the government’s standard state policy of using taxpayers’ money to pay terrorists thereby funding and encouraging terrorism and criminality.
President Buhari and his government have failed in their primary duty under Section 14 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution which is ensuring the security and welfare of the Nigerian people. Instead, under their watch, Nigeria is now a catalogue of bloodletting with:
● The unending war in the North East with our troops often bearing the brunt of this government’s security failures;
● Gross injustices by President Buhari’s government against the Nigerian people such that peaceful protesters are threatened and attacked by the 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;
● 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;
● Large scale terrorist attacks in the North West irresponsibly tagged by the government as ‘banditry’ in a bid to downplay their criminality;
● 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.
Furthermore, Section 14 of the Constitution has imposed a duty on the State i.e FG, States & LGs. All Governments should invest in the security of life and property of every citizen. And since, armed robbery, kidnapping and murder or culpable homicide are state offences. All arrested suspected should be prosecuted by State Attorney Generals
Nigeria is completely under policed. As a matter of urgency, more security personnel should be employed, trained and motivated to defend the society. When an American citizen was recently kidnapped in Niger State no ransom was paid. Yet, a team of US troops invaded the country, killed two of the kidnappers and freed the abducted American!
This government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has failed to protect Nigerians as is their primary duty under Section 14 (2)b of the 1999 Constitution and we hold President Buhari solely responsible as the buck stops at his desk. As Civil Society organisations, we call on the President to take immediate steps to :
1. 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;
2. The Nigeria Police Council established by section 153 of the Constitution is constituted by the President, IGP, Chair of Police Service Commission and the 36 state governors. The NPC is empowered by the Construction to administer organise and supervise the Nigeria Police Force. The NPC should be called to meet regularly to address the crisis of insecurity
3. 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;
4. Amnesty for terrorists and abductors should stop. Huge ransom paid to criminal gangs is used to purchase arms and ammunition to attack communities. As security is technology driven the Government must acquire the necessary equipment to deal with the menace of terrorism, banditry and abduction.
5. Take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state.
6. Mobilize our rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets.
7. Where the President fails to fulfill his constitutional duties as stated above, we demand he steps aside or 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 remain hopeful as citizens of Nigeria and call on all Nigerians to keep hope alive as we bond together and build a nation where true peace and justice reign.
1. Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)
2. Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CRDDERT)
3. Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
4. Media Rights Agenda (MRA)
5. Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)
6. Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP)
7. Zero-Corruption Coalition (ZCC)
8. Partners on Electoral Reform
9. African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
10. National Procurement Watch Platform
11. Praxis Center
12. Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education (CHRICED)
13. Social Action
14. Community Action for Popular Participation
15. Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP)
16. Global Rights
17. Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE)
18. YIAGA Africa
19. Tax Justice and Governance Platform
20. Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria
21. Women In Nigeria
22. African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD)
23. Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre(RULAAC)
24. Women Advocate Research And Documentation Centre
25. Community Life Project
26. Nigerian Feminist Forum
27. Alliances for Africa
28. Spaces for Change
29. Nigerian Women Trust Fund
30. Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa
31. BudgiT Foundation
32. State of the Union (SOTU)
33. Action International Nigeria
34. Femi Falana Chamber
35. HEDA Resource Centre
36. Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution
37. Organization Community Civic Engagement(OCCEN)
38. Say NO Campaign—Nigeria
39. Women In Media
40. Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF)
41. Sesor Empowerment Foundation
42. House of Justice
43. Molluma Medico-Legal Center
44. Open Bar Initiative
45. Tap N’Itiative
46. Partners West Africa, Nigeria (PWAN)
47. We The People
48. Lex Initiative for Rights Advocacy and Development (LIRAD Nigeria)
49. Centre for Impact Advocacy
51. Dorothy Njemanze Foundation
53. Raising New Voices Initiative
54. Haly Hope Foundation
55. Centre for Liberty
56. Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution
57. Adopt a Goal for Development Initiative
58. Education as a Vaccine
59. Stand to End Rape
61. Invictus Africa
62. Dinidari Foundation
63. International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre (IPCRC)
64. Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD)
65. Mowalek Centre for Sustainable Community Development
66. Silverchip Fox
67. Connected Development
68. Srarina Initiative for Peace, Justice and Development (SIPJAD)