A citizen-led initiative on Friday urged the Lagos State House of Assembly to intervene in the incessant insecurity and other issues ravaging the country.
The initiative, which consists of about 17 organizations in Lagos State, was at the Assembly in Alausa today to protest the insecurity of lives and properties across Nigeria.
The organisers said the action was ongoing simultaneously nationwide.
In the demands presented to the Speaker of the House, the conveners said insecurity has persisted despite increased budgetary allocations.
“In the first and second quarters of 2021, Nigeria has experienced an exponential rate of atrocious incidents of armed violence across the country, with extremely high casualty rate. In different parts of the country, insecurity took various forms and dimensions, with thousands of deaths linked to these incidents.
“A most disturbing dimension to the growing insecurity in the land is the school raids accompanied by mass abduction of school children and the shutting down of schools that now deprive our children the right to education.”
“We have also observed with trepidation, the constant and active attempts at muffling citizens’ voices within the shrinking civic space as evidenced during the #ENDSARS protests in 2020 and earlier this year. This kind of repression can only be a recipe for disaster in a democratic system.”
The statement further urged the Assembly to take urgent but people-friendly and right-sensitive actions to ensure the safety of lives and curb threats posed by vested interests of the people’s enemies.
Akinbode Oluwafemi, the Executive Director of Corporate Accountability & Public Participation Africa, told PREMIUM TIMES that about 300 organisations signed up for the action across Nigeria.
“President Buhari should wake up from slumber and use all the powers that have been given to him as the C-in-C to secure the lives and properties in Nigeria,” he said.
“He has all the resources necessary because Nigeria is rich enough to provide for these resources. All we’re saying is ‘Enough is enough’. Nigerian citizens are in a state of mourning.”
While addressing the rally, Eshinlokun Sanni, the Deputy Speaker of the House, said the lawmakers had debated the insecurity issues in the country two weeks ago. He said the Speaker would invite the groups to the House for appropriate representative discussion..
“We can relate to what you’re saying and we’re also concerned about the current situation,” he said.
“About two weeks ago, we raised a motion on the floor of the House where we talked about security and asked the President to address the nation on the security issues because things are not going well.”
“I can assure you that whatever grievances that you may have, I’ll deliver it to the speaker. Also, with Mr. Speaker’s permission, I’ll invite you when the security issue will be discussed in the House.”
The statement by the groups was signed by the leadership of Cee-Hope, Center for Dignity, CHSR, CENSOCHANGE, CWI, CAPPA, Education Rights Campaign, ERA/FoEN, GDI, Global Rights, HoMEF, Help Initiative for Social Justice & Humanitarian Development, JAF, Journalist Initiative for Sustainable Development, JDPC, NLC, PEDEP, Spaces for Changes and BudgIt.
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