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22.06.2021 news Over 500 Women Groups Ask Govt to End Insecurity and Bloodshed

Published 22nd Jun, 2021

By Damilola Ayeni

The Feminist Womanifesto Group, a collective of over 500 women organizations, and a league of other CSOs and individuals in Nigeria have presented five strategic demands to the Federal Government over rising insecurity in the country.

According to a press statement made available to FIJ on Tuesday, the demands, which include, reformation of community policing, provision of early warning mechanisms and women’s participation in peace and security decision making, daily security briefings, transparency and accountability on security spending, and national response to kidnapping, will help stem the spate of killings and kidnappings which have become every day news in the country.

“Nigeria is one of the most unstable and terrorized countries in the world. We are currently ranked third in the world with a death toll of 25,711 people killed between 2010 and 2019,” the statement reads in part.

“This does not include those murdered, kidnapped, assaulted, raped, and abducted since 2020. Nigerians are gradually being paralyzed with the fear of violence, unable to farm, travel, socialize or go to school and even in our homes, we are still not safe.

“Women and Children bear the major brunt arising from wars and conflict and are often time the worst hit; we are therefore concerned about this spate of violence pervading the nation, we call on the government to TAKE ACTION to end the insecurity and bloodshed.”

The group also said that the death of the infamous leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, had allowed for the invasion of a part of the country by a more organized group which had unleashed more terror on women and children.

It said, “In its Mass Atrocities Report 2020, Global Rights Nigeria estimated that 4,556 Nigerians were killed in 2020, especially in the restive northeastern part of the country. In the first quarter of 2021, over 220 kidnapping incidents were recorded with at least 2,114 victims. In the same first quarter of 2021, over 600 schools closed across six states in the North.

“Violence is raging in Abia, Benue, Imo, Kebbi, Niger, Ondo and Oyo due to non-state actor violence, insurrection, the proliferation of weapons, farmer-herder conflict and state security operations. The death of Shekau and Idris Deby, former President of Chad, herald the terror of a more organized Islamic West Africa Province and hundreds of thousands are displaced from their homes and means of livelihood while women and children are being captured, raped and indoctrinated into a life of violence,” read the statement.

“Nigeria’s security forces are stretched, dogged with allegations of corruption and human rights abuses. The country is saturated with small arms and light weapons, in the midst of economic recession, unemployment and food insecurity. Nigerians are overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. Our Country is inflicted with a thousand cuts and hemorrhaging, we need to stop the bleeding and wanton killing. The insecurity endangers the continued existence of the country, and every citizen regardless of their background is at risk.”

Published 22nd Jun, 2021

By Damilola Ayeni

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