NATIONAL DAY OF
MOURNING AND REMEMBRANCE OF ALL VICTIMS OF KILLINGS ACROSS NIGERIA. ON MAY
AT ISAAC BORO PARK, PORT HARCOURT, RIVERS STATE
The death rate is so alarming and
going out of hand in Nigeria.
The killings are becoming uncontrollable.
The Federal and State Government(s) are responsible by law to protect lives and properties, but we can’t keep silent and fold our hands.
Today, we mourn our loved ones, all those lost through violence means.
Mr. Ken Henshaw Coordinator of National Day of Mourning in Port Harcourt emphasized that Government must stop the killings. And he said, the Joint Nigeria Civil Society Action Committee is deeply concerned by the steady descent of the Nigerian state into profound insecurity and routine mass killings of citizens from all parts of the country. In the past, we have witnessed regular killings in certain areas of the country, but never have the killings been so widespread and so regular as they now are. Virtually, all states of our country have been beset by violent killings with impunity. Of note is the rising spate of killings in Rivers State. While, the killings in other parts of the country take the character of insurgency, herdsmen and farmer’s crisis and community violence, the principal sources of killings in Rivers State are the Gang related and spiraling beyond control.
Without doubt, we are witnessing an alarming increase in killings in Rivers State. In the month of April alone 16 cases of extra judicial killings were documented, which claimed 46 lives. Some of the victims were barbarically beheaded. In the month of May, those figures have already exceeded. These types of atrocious killings have become routine and familiar. An atmosphere of shock and fright engulfs the state, with residents anticipating the next glory tale of murder, occurring on a near daily basis. Beyond periodic declarations of condemnation and rage, there is absolutely no indication that the Nigeria Police Force has any strategic response with corresponding wit and brawn to address these killings that seem to have become staple in Rivers State. As days pass, the killings become more daring, more horrific, raising troubling questions about the sanity and humanity of the perpetrators; but also reinforcing the need to account for the unnecessary death of Nigerians. As shocking as the killings are, we are even more shocked by the fact, that, there is no serious demand or efforts to achieve accountability for atrocious killings in Rivers State. It seems, sadly, that numbers and statistics have replaced the value of life and the need to account for every soul we lose in murderous circumstances.
With this modest effort, by a
coalition of concerned and responsible Civil Society groups, we are reinforcing
the demand for the government and its Police Force to perform its
constitutional duty of securing the lives of Nigerians, a job it has woefully
failed at so far. We also demand that Government ensures accountability for the
senseless killings, and closure to scores of grieving families. The primary
responsibility of Government and its agencies is the protection of lives and
properties. It is sad to note that in Rivers State, every agency of Government
with responsibility in this regard has clearly failed. It is important to note
that the Police is at total loss on what to do, completely overwhelmed by these
occurrences. We are not alone in this thinking. Only yesterday, the President
of Nigeria expressed the very same sentiments.
As Citizens, we remind our Government at every level
that section 14 (1)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
states that the Security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose
of Government, and therefore demand;