Press Statement on the 3rd National Day of Mourning and Remembrance of Victims of Mass Atrocities in Zamfara State,2020
We stand before you today,the 28th day of May,2020 with much concern and pains as we mark the 3rd National Day of mourning in remembrance of all victims of violent killings across the country.Currently, at the epicenter of these crises is the ongoing violent killings in Kaduna,Katsina and some parts of Sokoto and Zamfara State in the North Western region of Nigeria.The mass atrocities are rapidly spiraling into a National catastrophe considering the situation in order part of the country.The problem of insecurity is threatening the very fiber of our nationhood.The theme of 2020: “WE ARE NOT AT WAR” STOP THE KILLINGS.
The resolved for a National Day of Mourning was consequent to the resolutions reached by over 100 Civil Society actors across Nigeria on 30th April,2018 at Abuja,to undertake a National Day of mourning as a symbolic action capable of registering citizens dissatisfaction with the state of our National security,since protests no longer seems to impact the conscience of our political elites.
The National Day of mourning is aimed at achieving the following objectives:
1. Stir the conscience of our political elites at National and state levels into developing the political will to protect the lives and properties of citizens through good governance based on transparency and accountability.
2. Express solidarity with the grieving communities and families of Zamfara State and Nigeria as well as acknowledge and accord dignity to every single Nigerian life that has been lost,or disrupted due to violent crises.
3. Rekindle our sense of nationhood by reminding ourselves,we are in this together and that the office of the citizens is the most powerful office that can be occupied in this State and country.
4. Assert as citizens,an end on our docility to no longer condone narratives that seek to divide us along ethnic or religious lines.
As Nigeria citizens,we remind the Governments at all levels that,Section 14(1)b of the 1999 Nigeria constitution as amended states that: the security and welfare of the citizens SHALL be the primary purpose of government and therefore,demand the following from Zamfara state and Federal Government of Nigeria:
1. An urgent review or complete overhaul of Nigeria security architecture at States and National level.
2. The initiation of a Government led process of documenting these deaths towards seeking accountability and prosecution of perpetrators.
3.The provision of social security for victims of mass atrocities in Nigeria including,IDPs, disabled persons, orphans,widows and other socially vulnerable groups in Zamfara,Katsina and other parts of Nigeria.
4. Provision of better welfare service package including psychosocial support for our gallant security personnel both alive and those that lost their lives in the line of duty in Nigeria.
5. We request for a review of the “peace accord ” signed by Zamfara and Katsina state government with the armed bandits to be in tandem with the present realities.
6. We advocate for the implementation of former IGP (M.D. Abubakar) recommendations on the report of mass atrocities in Zamfara State submitted to the Executive Governor over
7 months ago. The perpetrators should be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others and avoid reprisals and future occurrences.
8. We advocate for the development of a strategy aim at reorientation, rehabilitation, reintegration and empowerment of the repented bandits in Zamfara state.
9. We urged the government and security agencies to intensify efforts in the disarmament of the bandits and locals for the sustainability of peace and stability in Zamfara state.
As mentioned at the beginning of this statement,this is a citizen’s driven movement that is entirely non partisan and not skewed to any ethnic or religious leaning.In the spirit of national unity and patriotism,we therefore call all Zamfara State people to play their roles as occupants of the office of the citizens in joining us to commemorate this special event in their LGAs and communities.Long live Zamfara state,Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Adamu Abubakar Kotorkoshi
Centre for Community Excellence (CENCEX) Zamfara state
Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN)-Zamfara State.