OVER 120 Nigerian civil society organisations ha announced that they will be boycotting this year’s Democracy Day celebrations on May 29 to protest the worsening state of insecurity in the country and will be holding demonstrations instead.
Although Nigeria’s Democracy Day now holds on June 12, it has traditionally been held at the end of May and several events are still planned for the end of the month this year. However, a coalition of over 120 civil society organisations and activists has called on Nigerians to join series of mass actions in different parts of Nigeria on May 26 to register their displeasure about the worsening state of insecurity in the country.
They also urged Nigerian citizens to join solemn assemblies to mark what they described as the fourth national day of mourning and remembrance for victims of mass atrocities on May 28. In addition, it called on Nigerians to boycott the activities lined up by government for this year’s Democracy Day.
In a statement titled State of the Nation: A Call to President Muhammadu Buhari to the Stop the Bleeding and Take Action to End the Carnage, the coalition also lamented the horrendous breakdown of law and order across Nigeria. The groups catalogued a series of mindless killings, kidnappings and destruction of public property by criminals since the first quarter of the year.
“Following its sharp increase of 43% in mass atrocities 2020, Nigeria has continued to experience a decline in security across the nation. In the first quarter of 2021, we recorded an all-time quarterly high of almost 2,000 fatalities from mass atrocities incidents across the country.
“We are therefore calling on all Nigerians to register their displeasure with the state of affairs across the country by participating a series of mass actions from Monday the 26th of May 2021, participate in solemn assemblies across the country to commemorate the fourth national day of mourning and remembrance of victims of mass atrocities on May 28 2021 and boycott all Democracy Day activities on May 29, 2021 in protest of the deplorable state of our democracy,” the coalition added.
It accused President Muhammadu Buhari of gross injustices against the Nigerian people by clamping down on peaceful protesters, 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. Furthermore, the groups said the pampering of terrorists by the Buhari-led government amounts to treason against the people.
They added: “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. We again call on Muhammadu Buhari led national government and the state governments to rise up to their constitutional duties as enshrined in the constitution to ensure the security and welfare of all Nigerians, and pull the nation back from the path of destruction.”
Among the groups involved in the coalition are Action Aid, Adinya Arise Foundation, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, Bauchi Human Rights Network, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre and the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution. They challenged President Buhari to halt the drifting of Nigeria to state of anarchy by providing the desperately needed political and moral leadership that is currently lacking in the country.