No fewer than 44 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent steps in addressing the increasing insecurity of the country or step aside.
In a joint statement signed by Civil Society Joint Action Coalition on Sunday and made available to the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, the groups said Buhari has failed the nation as far as tackling insecurity in Nigeria is concerned.
They decried the rate at which Nigerian citizens, even children are killed on a daily basis by terrorists and criminals, and extra-judicial killings by state actors which they said was on the increase with the government doing little or nothing about it.
Also they noted that 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 pauperized 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.”
The CSOs demanded Buhari provide political and moral leadership for the security crisis and ensure governmental actions are humane in tandem with the constitution, hence, kicked against government allegedly paying huge ransom for Nigerians abducted by terrorists or granting them amnesty.
“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.
“Where the President fails to fulfill his constitutional duties, 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.”
The Civil Society Joint Action Coalition includes: Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CRDDERT), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA).
Others are the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP), Zero-Corruption Coalition (ZCC), Partners on Electoral Reform, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) and National Procurement Watch Platform.
Also, the Praxis Center, Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education (CHRICED), Social Action, Community Action for Popular Participation, Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP), Global Rights, Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE), Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), Tax Justice and Governance Platform, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria, Women In Nigeria, Femi Falana Chamber and HEDA Resource Centre.