At least 240 people were killed by armed bandits and Boko Haram insurgents in various attacks on some communities in the Northern part of Nigeria between June 8 and 13, 2020, Coalition of Northern Groups has claimed.
Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, CNG spokesperson in a statement on Wednesday, said Nigerians have steadily lost confidence in the ability of authorities to reverse the uncertainties arising from the cyclical violence, which has continued to ravage the country.
The statement reads, “Within just six days – between Monday, June 8, and Saturday, June 13, 2020, the North lost over 240 lives in several attacks representing the highest number of deaths in such a short period in recent times.
“The Nigeria Security Tracker, which compiles violent incidents around the nation, stated that 114 persons lost their lives in Borno State alone within this period with Katsina State following on the list of fatalities as 75 people were killed.
“In the previous week, deaths caused by violent events stood at 183, while between Monday, May 25, and Sunday, May 31, the number of violent deaths reported by the tracker stood at 149. Alarmed by the regularity of these incidences and the audacity with which the killers roam and operate freely, the Coalition of Northern Groups organised a series of region-wide protests against the killing of innocent people starting from Katsina and Niger states on 16th June, 2020.
“The protests, scheduled to take place simultaneously in all the remaining northern states were to call attention to the numerous deficits in the security arrangement that needed to be rectified to tackle the current capabilities of the bandits and other terrorist groups.”
The group said it decided to suspend its marches and explore additional avenues to sustain the momentum and urged the government to keep to its renewed commitment.
It added, “In place of the halted protests, the CNG hereby resolves to direct its state coordinators to raise their levels of vigilance and to assist the security forces with credible relevant intelligence needed to tackle the situation.
“All CNG state coordinators and officials of affiliate groups to commence the immediate process of compiling all aspects of security worries in their respective states to deliver to the various state commissioners of police for onward transmission to the chief executives and thereafter, address the press at NUJ centres in groups of not more than 25 each.
“To demand that within the next three months: The federal security forces must carry out proper threat assessments of the situation to review the current poor law enforcement, poor intelligence and the lack of synergy among other vulnerabilities. The federal authorities must tame the exponential rise in the rate of attacks and the number of terror gangs, halt the proliferation of illicit arms and mop up the estimated 350 million small arms and light weapons already believed to be in Nigeria with a large percentage in the North.
“Government must take steps to ensure that all security budget allocations are released in full to the relevant agencies on quarterly basis to ensure efficiency. The federal and state governments must commence the process of resettling the displaced communities. The federal legislators must do their job by quickly moving to amend the clause in the Constitution to allow for multiple security and public safety arrangements in the country – at the federal, state, and local government levels.”
CNG vowed to embark on renewed protests on a much wider scale if at the expiration of the three months period government's commitment to safeguarding the lives of citizens all over the country remains mere rhetoric.