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FG’s funding, supporting of terrorists amounts to treason against the Nigerian state and people, say CSOs, Falana, SERAP, others

“The federal government, through the Minister of Defence, has “callously abdicated its responsibility by calling Nigerian citizens ‘cowards’ and urged them to ‘defend themselves’’

“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”

 

President Muhammadu Buhari administration has been swiped for its policy of using taxpayers’ money to pay terrorists in the country, accusing it of funding and encouraging terrorism and criminality.

“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.

“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.

“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 pauperized by terrorists who extort huge ransoms while murdering their hostages,’’ a coalition of civil society organizations and pro-democracy bodies numbering 68 said on Sunday in a statement given to Persecondnews.

They listed among others as the “sins” of the government as gross injustices against the Nigerian people, threats to peace and stability, insecurity, inter-ethnic violence and coddling of terrorists who decimate Nigeria’s troops without let or hindrance.

The coalition noted that Nigeria had fallen into dire straits under the watch of Buhari with citizens, including children killed daily by terrorists and criminals as well as extra-judicial killings by state actors with the government doing little or nothing about it.

The coalition includes Femi Falana Chambers, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CRDDERT), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and the Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP).

Others are Open Bar Initiative, International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre (IPCRC), Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Zero-Corruption Coalition (ZCC), Partners on Electoral Reform and African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL).

Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP), Women In Nigeria, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD), Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre(RULAAC), and Spaces for Change also signed the statement entitled, “National Security: Buhari and Governors Have So Far Failed’’.

They noted that the federal government, through the Minister of Defence, had “callously abdicated its responsibility by calling Nigerian citizens ‘cowards’ and urged them to ‘defend themselves’.

They also listed 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 and large scale terrorist attacks in the Northwest irresponsibly tagged by the government as ‘banditry’ in a bid to downplay their criminality.

The statement said:“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.

“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 Attorneys-General.

“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!’’

They also said among others that the 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 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 Construction 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,’’ the CSOs said.

They demanded the resignation of the president for demonstrating incapacity to provide good governance.

“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.

“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,’’ the statement said.

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