Coalition of Civil Society Organisations have called on the Nigerian government to boldly invest in long term interventions that will end violence and all forms of atrocities in the country.
Briefing newsmen on Friday to commemorate the 2022 National Day of Mourning and Launch of 2021 Mass Atrocities Report and Documentary in Abuja, Global Rights’s Executive Director, Abiodun Baiyewu said the number of deaths associated with mass atrocities keeps increasing.
While expressing worries over the increase of insecurity across the country, Abiodun said,“The numbers for 2021are exponentially higher than the numbers for 2020.In 2021, our tracking double verified at least 6895 persons killed. In comparison, in 2020, at least 4556 persons were killed, while at least 3188 persons were killed in 2019, pointing to an exponential rise in mass atrocities across the country.
“In essence, there have been at least 14,641 killings as a result of mass atrocities between January to December 2021.The number of deaths steadily increased by 116.28% from 2019 to 2021”.
Baiyewu, while wondering how the masses would conveniently vote with the incessant crisis in almost every part of the country, she also expressed fears that the political season could be bloody if nothing is done to tackle it.
“There are no signs of these numbers abating anytime soon, especially as Nigeria enters into its political season given its 2023 general elections which are expected to be highly contested and volatile as indicated by the number of politically related killings”, she noted.
Also speaking, the Program Director, Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI) Ogi Ladi urged the Nigerian government to check the spate of violence and proliferation of arms ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
“It is important to state that there are no silver bullets to ending Nigeria’s crisis of violence. There are also no quick fixes. The people and government of Nigeria will have to be deliberate and bravely commit to long term interventions to stem the tide” she added.
On his part, the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Rafsanjani, while asking the Nigerian government to emulate other countries who took proactive measures to end violence in their countries, he called for the reform of the Nigeria’s security agencies.
Rafsanjani however urged Nigerians not to allow themselves to be used as political thugs by greedy politician for the forthcoming general elections.