Group worried by spate of killings in Nigeria

Armed Fulani herdsmen

Concerns for protection of lives and properties of Nigerians as well as non-Nigerians alike, citizens' welfare and unity of the country as enshrined in the constitution, formed the thrust of a press conference in Abuja, May 22, 2018.

The conference titled 'State of the nation,' was put together by the Convener of National Intervention Group of Nigeria, Mr. Segun Akinloye, who noted that going by the worrisome image being portrayed in the country, it would seem that lives of Nigerians, even in Nigeria, are now so cheap and more worthless than ever before witnessed or recorded in the nation’s history.

"People have been slaughtered, and more get killed in scores while asleep; in their homes, on their farms, in churches and mosques, on our highways, and all, at the hands of people who have been branded as invading bandits among other titles," the statement read.

See full text of the press statement below:

Immediate necessity and ultimate concern for protection of lives and properties of Nigerians and non-Nigerians, citizens' welfare and unity in our dear nation Nigeria, as constitutionally enshrined is why we have come together to once again plead with those in authority to heed our cries in agony.

It is an extremely worrisome image portrayed, which suggests that lives of Nigerians, even in Nigeria appears nowadays to be cheaper and more worthless than ever before witnessed or recorded in our history. People have been slaughtered, and more get killed in scores while asleep; in their homes, on their farms, in churches and mosques, on our highways, and all, at the hands of people who have been branded as invading bandits among other titles. 

Wanton murders reported often, the evils carried out by Fulani herdsmen, bandits, militias etc and the utter powerlessness of our police to abate this spate of killings are reasons why we are here to express our urgent and great concern that Nigeria may be heading to imminent division and eventual collapse if urgent steps are not taken immediately by all and sundry.

It is no more news to us all that Southern Kaduna is no more safe for its people, it is no more news that certain parts of Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Plateau and Kaduna are being soaked in the blood of their own people. Birnin-Gwari in Kaduna State and some villages in Maru Local Government of Zamfara State are being terrorised daily and their people being killed and animals and other property carted away unchecked by our governments, Local, State, and Federal.

We cannot also forget the Dapchi girls kidnap and all drama that surrounded it; some of those girls have since been returned in rather controversial turn of events and manner, but till today, the whole nation still awaits the rescue or return of Leah Sharibu, who is alleged to still be in custody of the abductors as a hostage, simply because she refused to renounce her christian faith. We have been fed severally with uncoordinated promises and announcements about her return, yet our Leah is nowhere near home to celebrate her 15th birthday.

Some weeks ago, a list of recorded killings was released by the Senate President's office and just between May 1st to 15th,  no fewer than 220 violent deaths arising from non-traditional and non-communal strife related violence have been recorded in Nigeria. This is a huge concern for many of us, hence our being here today.

On Sunday, 13th of May 2018, news filtered in that 87 citizen were abducted along Birnin-Gwari Road in Kaduna State by the people we now know as  bandits when they ambushed  over 15 vehicles conveying them.
The horrible high toll of deaths recorded apart from terrorism or traditional crimes especially in the Central and Northern parts of Nigeria in 2018 only are enough for overhaul of our nation's security. A total reported and recorded number of 934 Nigerians have been gruesomely murdered in the following local government area, towns and villages:
Logo, Guma, Tse Akombo, Tse Vii and Tse Agul, Markurdi, Okpokwu, Ukum, Gwer West, Gwer East and Agatu in Benue State;
Awe, Keana and Obi in Nasarawa State;
Wukari, Gassol, Lau, Sardauna, Ibi, Ardo Kola, Ussa, Takum and Donga in Taraba State;
Birnin Gwari, Gwaska,Jema’a, Kajuru and Chikun in Kaduna State;
Bassa,  Barking Ladi, Bokkos and Jos South in Plateau State;
Madagali, Numan, Song, Lamurde, Shelleng and Demsa in Adamawa State;
Kaiama and Offa in Kwara State;
Lokoja, Ilai, Ijumu and  Daima/Omala, in Kogi State and
Kutigi, Niger State.

According to the 12th May, 2018 edition of Daily Trust newspapers, the attacks by bandits  in Gwaska and Birnin-Gwari areas of Kaduna State only have claimed no fewer than 121 lives; recorded in 11 attacks between January and first week of May 2018. These avoidable deaths are even different from those happening through terrorism and political killings. Many others are classified as grey figures of crimes.

Without mincing words, these killings are adjudged, nothing short of clear signs of a Nigeria that is imminently receding to total collapse and anarchy if nothing is immediately done about her internal security. 

The restive Niger-Delta region has been peaceful for a while, all thanks to a prominent Minister from the oil-rich delta region who has been more than concerned to achieve relative peace and economic activities of the region. But our albatross is now the killing fields in the Central and Northern regions, to which the most reaponse and/or reaction the people seem to get from the government, event after unjust event are speeches of condemnation, one after the other, which is neither effective action nor justice.

Prayers:
1. That taking cognisance of the above highlighted issues and the inability of the Nigerian Police Force under the leadership of current Inspector General of Police, Mr. Idris Kpotun, to tackle the consistent danger and his loss of morality to continue in office, we implore the Inspector General of Police to tender his resignation forthwith.

2. That should the Inspector General of Police succumb to the huge temptations to continue in office after this vote of no confidence on him by Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari should with immediate effect relieve the IGP of his current position.

3. That President Muhammadu Buhari should show strong will, required humility and resolve to take responsibility for these spate of killings as the President and father of the nation, appeal to the wounded Nigerians and put machineries in place to stop the incessant killings.

4. That all arms of all tiers of government should dissolve into national integration plan bearing in mind the inevitableness of of this for Nigeria and Nigerians' survival and coexistence.

We implore Pesident Mohammadu Buhari not to rob himself and citizens of this nation, Nigeria, of this opportunity to make amends and take these concrete and remedial steps necessary now on this issue of security of lives.

Thank you all.

Comrade  Segun Akinloye.

Convener.
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