A coalition of 19 civil society organisations has asked the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable Mudashiru Obasa, to convene an emergency session of the Assembly on the state of insecurity in Nigeria and particularly in Lagos.
The groups also want the Speaker to convey the feelings and frustrations of Nigerians on the security situation to President Muhammadu Buhari being the Chief Security Officer of the nation, with a view to coming up with a holistic solution to the problem.
The groups made the demand in a petition written to the Speaker after a National Day of Mourning action to condemn the spate of insecurity and killings of individuals including security personnel across Nigeria.
Signed by Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) in conjunction with 18 other groups, the petition was received by representatives of the House led by Deputy Speaker, Sanni Eshinloku.
Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi said the decision of the groups to mark the day of mourning was to draw the attention of the lawmakers to the situation and urge them to address the situation urgently.
On his part, the Vice President of the Joint Action Front (JAF), Achike Chude cautioned that the nation’s drift into anarchy will ultimately consume all-alike and wondered why those at the helm of affairs at state and federal levels continue to handle the matter with levity and act in nonchalance.
The petition titled ‘Urgent Need to Address Grave Insecurity Situation as Nigerians Mourn’, noted that Nigeria’s struggle with inordinate and escalating insecurity rooted in mass atrocities continued unabated with the ﬁgures in 2020 reaching about 4,556 killings, a signiﬁcant increase beyond the 2019 figure which was 3188.
The petition reads in part, “the pattern of mass atrocities across the country continues to bear regional nuances, but the lines are increasingly getting blurred. Insurgency, pillages, and communal attacks characterize the major forms of atrocities in the North, while rival gang attacks, killings from mob actions, extrajudicial killings, politically motivated killings, and mob lynching, so-called unknown gunmen attacks and herdsmen attacks have become the order of the day in the south.”
The groups thereafter urged the Lagos State House of Assembly hold a joint session with federal representatives from the state to come up with a unified position on the state of security in the country.
They also asked the lawmakers to commence citizens’ engagement including townhall meetings on specific security challenges in their respective constituencies with a view to arriving at workable and inclusive solutions.
Some of the groups that signed the petition and engaged in the march are Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE), Center for Dignity, Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR), Education Rights Campaign, BudgIT, Global Rights, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Centre for Social Change and Citizenship Education (CENSOCHANGE), Community Women Initiatives (CWI), and Spaces 4 Change.
Others are; Education Rights Campaign, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Grassroots Democratic Initiatives (GDI), Global Rights, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HoMEF), Help Initiative for Social Justice & Humanitarian Development, Joint Action Front (JAF), Journalist Initiative for Sustainable Development, Justice, Development & Peace Commission (JDPC), and Peace and Development Project (PEDEP)