A coalition of civil society organisations under the auspices of the Civil Society Joint Action Group claims at least 2,423 people have been killed and 1,872 kidnapped in the first eight months of President Bola Tinubu’s government.
Lamenting the rising killings and kidnappings in the country, the group called on the president to declare a state of emergency on terrorism.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, on behalf of the Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani asked the president to give a timeline to security agencies to address insecurity.
Mr Rafsanjani said, “Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria under the auspices of the Civil Society Joint Action Group, Community of Practice Against Mass Atrocities, and Nigeria Mourns, are deeply concerned by the deteriorating state of security across Nigeria and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and therefore call on the Nigerian government to take actionable steps to end the endemic insecurity, mitigate further attacks by kidnap syndicates and terrorist groups, and, account for persons missing in these attacks.”
He added, “Mass atrocities fatality tracking across the country by Nigeria Mourns reveals that in President Buhari’s second term alone (2019 to 2023), after Buhari as a former military general, gained public trust to run as president by promising to curb the then fledgling insecurity, at least 24,816 Nigerians lost their lives, and at least 15,597 persons were abducted.”
The coalition worried that “this alarming trend has continued despite President Tinubu’s assurance at the beginning of his presidency in May 2023 to tackle insecurity.”
He stressed, “It has now been eight months since President Tinubu took his oath of office and yet, things have failed to improve. Our tracking shows at least 2,423 people have been killed in mass atrocities-related incidents and at least 1,872 persons were abducted since the beginning of President Tinubu’s administration till January 26, 2024.”
The CSOs noted that “we are particularly concerned about the upsurge in abductions, noting that at least 230 incidents, in most of which multiple victims were involved, occurred within the first two weeks of January 2024 alone.”
Mr Rafsanjani blamed the upsurge of insecurity in the country over the past decade and a half on terrorist activities in the northern region, banditry in the North-West, farmer-herder crisis in the Middle Belt, including the Benue Valley, secessionist struggles in the South-East, piracy in the southern coast of the country, inter-communal attacks, political violence, cult-gang violence and kidnapping in the South-West.