The Centre for Cultural and Religious Rights (CECCUR) has called on the government to address the issue of unwholesome killings that have riddled the country in recent times, urging the government to show more willingness in protecting the lives and properties of its citizen.
The group described as inhumane and barbaric the various religious and tribal-motivated killings that the nation has witnessed. It called for tolerance amongst citizens and urged that people must be mindful of the rights of others as they expressed their rights while it discouraged overzealousness in adherence to faiths, traditions or affiliations.
In a statement signed by the chairman of the group, Mr. Debo Adeniran, the group bemoaned the massacre of Ajatu people by Fulani herdsmen, the beheading of a 75-year-old woman in Kano, the killing of the evangelist in Abuja, and other “tales of mindless bloodletting” in the country.
“We are convinced that, at this stage, there is the dire need to interrogate and deconstruct the background to these tragic incidents which have remained incessant and apparently undying so as to be able to identify the immediate and remote causes. This is what will help in finding solutions to the trend of senseless killings in the name of religion and ethnicity,” the statement read.
CECCUR opined that legislation and military action alone cannot sufficiently combat the widespread, indiscriminate manslaughter in the nation but education, dialogue, promotion of tolerance and unity can assuage the situation.
The group said, “Our people must be educated on the concepts of ‘freedom’ and ‘tolerance.’ Freedom does not translate to infringing on what constitutes the freedom of the other person and tolerance understands our unavoidable differences. Situations where mosques, churches, traditional worships, party mongers etc., go about their activities without consideration and respect for the rights of other persons will never foster harmonious co-existence.”
The statement argued that it is the hatred and disunity along ethnic lines that resulted in the arrant disregard for human lives and properties. It said these are the undying traits that necessitated the call for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) since the late 1980s.
“We believe that an SNC is the beginning of true nationhood because that is where the basis of our unity and co-existence religiously, economically, politically and culturally can be agreed or disagreed upon. The alternative is to keep an unstable geographical expression pretentiously described as a country but one that lacks the socio-moral and political capacity to run under a common constitution since it was hitherto constituted under a defective, thus illegitimate arrangement,” the group said.