We stand before you today with much pains and concern as we mark the 4th National Day of mourning in remembrance of all victims of violent killings across the country. The spate of attacks and increased number of killings of innocents Nigerians in almost all the States in the Federation is an issue of great concern that requires the attention and intervention of both National and International stakeholders. Currently at the epicenter of these crises, is the ongoing violent killings in North-East, South-East, South-South, North-Central and North-western regions of Nigeria (Zamfara state inclusive).
The rate of insecurity in Nigeria is rapidly spiraling into a national catastrophe and is threatening the very fiber of our nationhood. The increase in number of attacks on innocent people in various communities in Zamfara State, despite, the peace accord¨ entered between Zamfara State Government and Armed bandits in July 2019 is UNACCEPTABLE.
We have been keenly following and monitoring the current security situation in Zurmi, Maru, Bungudu, Maradun and Gusau LGAs in Zamfara State. The situation led to death of unconfirmed number of citizens, loss of livelihood and displacement of hundreds or thousands of people from their homes. The activities of the Armed bandits in Zamfara State, if not properly address will certainly lead to more killings, humanitarian and food security crises.
The resolved for a National Day of Mourning was consequent to the resolutions reached by over 100 civil society actors on 30th April, 2018 at Abuja, to undertake a National Day of Mourning as a symbolic action capable of registering citizens dissatisfaction with the state of our national security, since protests no longer seem to impact the conscience of our political elites.
The National Day of Mourning is intended to achieve the following objectives:
- Stir the conscience of our political leaders at national and state level into developing the political will to protect our lives and properties through good governance.
- Express solidarity with grieving communities and families in Zamfara state and other parts of the country as we acknowledged and accord dignity to every single Nigerian life that has been lost or disrupted due to violent crises.
- Rekindle our sense of nationhood by reminding ourselves we are in this together, and that the office of the citizens is the most powerful office that can be occupied in this country.
- Assert as citizens, an end on our docility to no longer condone narratives that seek to divide us along ethnic or religious lines.
As citizens, we remind the government at every level that, Section 14(1)b of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that the security and welfare of the citizens shall be the primary purpose of government and therefore demand the following from State and Federal Governments:
- For an urgent review or complete overhaul of Nigeria security architecture at State and national level. You cant be using same strategy for almost a decade and expect different results.
- The Zamfara State Government as a matter of urgency, necessity and public interest review the Peace Accord entered with Armed bandits in Zamfara State.
- We are calling for the full implementation of the recommendations of former I.G (M.D. Abubakar) report on Zamfara State conflict.
- The initiation of a government-led process of documenting these deaths towards seeking accountability and prosecution of perpetrators.
- The provision of social security for victims including, IDPs, disabled persons, orphans and other socially vulnerable groups in Zamfara State.
- Provision of better welfare services-including psychosocial support for our gallant security personnel in the country.
As mentioned at the beginning of this statement, this is a citizens-driven movement that is entirely non-partisan and not skewed to any ethnic or religious leaning. In the spirit of national unity and patriotism, we therefore call all Zamfara people to play their roles as occupants of the office of citizens and join us to commemorate this special event in their localities. Long live Zamfara State, Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Signed for the Conveners:
Adamu A. Kotorkoshi,
Centre for Community Excellence (CENCEX)-Zamfara State
Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN)-Zamfara State