AN NGO, National Day of Mourning (NDoM), Niger chapter, has urged public and private sectors in the state to fly their flags at half-mast in honour of citizens who lost their lives to insecurity and violence.
Mr Mathew Oladele, the state’s Coordinator of NDoM made the call on Thursday in Minna as part of activities marking the 2020 NDoM in the state.
NAN reports that NDoM is an annual event organised every May 28 to remember victims of violent killings and mass atrocities across Nigeria.
Oladele, who is also the convener of the Niger Accountability Group, a Civil Society Organisation, said: “Between 2018 and now, we have recorded deaths in couples of hundreds of Nigerlites to violent killings across the state.
“The first quarter of 2020 alone has recorded 90 deaths and still counting.”
He also alleged that the country was still grappling with the level of insecurities and high level impunity that necessitated the annual NDoM.
“We still have cases of brutality by security agents, increase in armed banditry, kidnapping, Boko Haram, militia herdsmen, cultism, extra judicial killings, electoral violence and other forms of violence that have resulted in death and displacement of citizens.”
Oladele called on Nigerians, security agencies and others in the state to lend their voices to the issue toward ending the menace.
According to him, “as Nigerlites are being killed, so also we are being displaced from our communities and left to be living at Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in our own land and our livelihoods are laid to ruin.”
He called on both Federal and State Governments to live up to their constitutional responsibilities of protecting lives and properties in the state.
Oladele enjoined government to end conflicts in the North by immediately ordering a full investigation into the killings to fish out perpetrators of the crisis.
He said that there was need for communities affected in the incessant attacks by suspected bandits such as Shiroro, Rafi, Munya, Lapai, Paiko, Mashegu and Wushishi to get humanitarian aid.
“The Niger state government should ensure an urgent accounting of the missing persons through kidnapping to regain their freedom and the dead caused by armed bandits and an estimation of the loss incurred by individuals and impacted communities,” he said.
The coordinator advised the state government to engage security agencies, security experts, CSOs and the media to sensitise communities at various hotspots across the state on community policing.
Oladele said that the NDoM and Remembrance was a citizen-led initiative to express solidarity and demand accountability for the lapses in security and welfare of all Nigerians.
NAN also reports that the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello had on several occasions declared that government was collaborating with security agencies to end insecurity in parts of the state.
Bello, who also noted that the state had been confronted with security challenges in recent times, said that government would not relent in doing everything possible to end the menace.
– May 28, 2020 @ 18:25 GMT /