Nigeria: National Security: Buhari Has So Far, Failed

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the United States in July 2015.
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Abuja — Introduction: Nigeria is in dire straits.  All over the country, Nigerian citizens, including children, are killed daily by terrorists and criminals as well as in extra-judicial killings by state actors with the government doing little or nothing about it. The government, through the Minister of Defence, has instead callously abdicated its responsibility and called Nigerian citizens 'cowards' and urged Nigerians to 'defend themselves'.

Kidnapping for ransom has assumed an industrial and deadly scale never witnessed on the African continent. Our children are no longer safe in schools and Nigerian citizens and communities are now pauperised by terrorists who extort huge ransoms while murdering their hostages. We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, what has now become the government's standard state policy of using taxpayers' money to pay terrorists thereby funding and encouraging terrorism and criminality.

President Buhari and his government have failed in their primary duty under Section 14 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution which is ensuring the security and welfare of the Nigerian people. Instead, under their watch, Nigeria is now a catalogue of bloodletting with:

  • The unending war in the North East with our troops often bearing the brunt of this government's security failures;
  • Gross injustices by President Buhari's government against the Nigerian people such that peaceful protesters are threatened and attacked by the government's security agents while terrorists carrying out mass murder, rape, maiming and kidnapping of Nigerians including women and children are feted, molly coddled, granted 'amnesty' and paid by the government. This is tantamount to funding and supporting terrorists, encouraging murder and the decimation of the Nigeria's gallant troops and amounts to treason against the Nigerian State and people;
  • Terrorist herder attacks on unarmed farming communities and reprisal attacks in the face of government inaction and failure to bring the terrorist herdsmen and their funders to justice;
  • Large scale terrorist attacks in the North West irresponsibly tagged by the government as 'banditry' in a bid to downplay their criminality;
  • Industrial scale kidnappings all across the country;
  • Extrajudicial killings by State Security agents in various forms
  • Inter-ethnic violence and
  • Menace of political cult gangs and ethnic militia.

Furthermore, Section 14 of the Constitution has imposed a duty on the State i.e FG, States & LGs. All Governments should invest in the security of life and property of every citizen. And since, armed robbery, kidnapping and murder or culpable homicide are state offences.  All arrested suspected should be prosecuted by State Attorney Generals

Nigeria is completely under policed. As a matter of urgency, more security personnel should be employed, trained and motivated to defend the society. When an American citizen was recently kidnapped in Niger State no ransom was paid. Yet, a team of US troops  invaded the country, killed two of the kidnappers and freed the abducted American!

Our Demands

This government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has failed to protect Nigerians as is their primary duty under Section 14 (2)b of the 1999 Constitution and we hold President Buhari solely responsible as the buck stops at his desk.  As Civil Society organisations, we call on the President to take immediate steps to :

  1. 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;
  1. 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 Construction to administer organise and supervise the Nigeria Police Force. The NPC should be called to meet regularly to address the crisis of insecurity
  1. 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;
  1. 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.
  1. Take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state.
  1. Mobilize our rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets.
  1. 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.

Conclusion

We remain hopeful as citizens of Nigeria and call on all Nigerians to keep hope alive as we bond together and build a nation where true peace and justice reign.

Signed:

  1. Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)
  2. Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CRDDERT)
  3. Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
  4. Media Rights Agenda (MRA)
  5. Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)
  6. Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP)
  7. Zero-Corruption Coalition (ZCC)
  8. Partners on Electoral Reform
  9. African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
  10. National Procurement Watch Platform
  11. Praxis Center
  12. Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education (CHRICED)
  13. Social Action
  14. Community Action for Popular Participation
  15. Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP)
  16. Global Rights
  17. Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE)
  18. YIAGA Africa
  19. Tax Justice and Governance Platform
  20. Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria
  21. Women In Nigeria
  22. African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD)
  23. Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre(RULAAC)
  24. Women Advocate Research And Documentation Centre
  25. Community Life Project
  26. Nigerian Feminist Forum
  27. Alliances for Africa
  28. Spaces for Change
  29. Nigerian Women Trust Fund
  30. Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa
  31. BudgiT Foundation
  32. State of the Union (SOTU)
  33. Action International Nigeria
  34. Femi Falana Chamber
  35. HEDA Resource Centre
  36. Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution
  37. Organization Community Civic Engagement(OCCEN)
  38. Say NO Campaign—Nigeria
  39. Women In Media
  40. Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF)
  41. Sesor Empowerment Foundation
  42. House of Justice
  43. Molluma Medico-Legal Center
  44. Open Bar Initiative
  45. Tap N'Itiative
  46. Partners West Africa, Nigeria (PWAN)
  47. We The People
  48. Lex Initiative for Rights Advocacy and Development (LIRAD Nigeria)
  49. Centre for Impact Advocacy
  50. Actionaid
  51. Dorothy Njemanze Foundation
  52. FEMBUD
  53. Raising New Voices Initiative
  54. Haly Hope Foundation
  55. Centre for Liberty
  56. Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution
  57. Adopt a Goal for Development Initiative
  58. Education as a Vaccine
  59. Stand to End Rape
  60. TechHer
  61. Invictus Africa
  62. Dinidari Foundation
  63. International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre (IPCRC)
  64. Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD)
  65. Mowalek Centre for Sustainable Community Development
  66. Silverchip Fox
  67. Connected Development
  68. Srarina Initiative for Peace, Justice and Development (SIPJAD)

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