WorldStage Newsonline– A coalition of 68 civil society groups in Nigeria have criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s state policy of using taxpayers money to pay terrorists thereby funding and encouraging terrorism and criminality.
The group also slammed the President and his government for failing to carry out their primary duty under Section 14 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution which is ensuring the security and welfare of Nigerian people.
The civil society groups lamented the injustices by President Buhari’s government against the Nigerian people such that peaceful protesters were threatened and attacked by the government’s security agents while terrorists carrying out mass murder, rape, maiming, and kidnapping were feted, molly coddled, granted ‘amnesty’ and paid by the government.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Sunday, Executive Director of Global Right, Abiodun Baiyewu, said Kidnapping for ransom had assumed an industrial and the deadly scale never witnessed on the African continent.
Baiyewu, however, blamed the government for the large scale terrorist attacks in the North West, irresponsibly tagged by the government as ‘banditry’ in a bid to downplay their criminality; extrajudicial killings by State Security agents in various forms; Inter-ethnic violence and Menace of political cult gangs and ethnic militia.
She said under the watch of the president, Nigeria had now a catalogue of bloodlettings with, the unending war in the North East with our troops often bearing the brunt of this government’s security failures.
The Civil Society organisations, however made the seven demands which include that; President Buhari to as a matter of urgency, provide political and moral leadership for the security crisis and ensure governmental actions are humane in tandem with Section 17 (2) ( C ) of the Constitution;
“The Nigeria Police Council established by section 153 of the Constitution is constituted by the President, IGP, Chair of Police Service Commission and the 36 state governors. The NPC is empowered by the Constitution to administer organise and supervise the Nigeria Police Force. The NPC should be called to meet regularly to address the crisis of insecurity;
“End impunity for abuse of power and sectionalism through his appointments by balancing the need for competence with the federal character principle. In this way, he will demonstrate that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence;
“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.
“Take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state.
“Mobilize our rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets.
“Where the President fails to fulfill his constitutional duties as stated above, 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”.
Among the 68 civil society groups include: Global Right, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP), Femi Falana Chamber, and Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE).