Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop any plan of giving amnesty to terrorists, bandits and abductors.
The CSO’s said since security is technology driven, the government must acquire the necessary equipment to deal with the menace of terrorism, banditry and abduction.
The CSOs made their position during a press briefing in Abuja.
They include Global Rights, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CRDDERT), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP), Zero-Corruption Coalition (ZCC), Partners on Electoral Reform, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL).
They implored President Buhari, state governors and security agencies to stop paying ransom to bandits.
They said, “Nigeria is in dire straits. All over the country, Nigerian citizens, including children, are killed daily by terrorists and criminals as well as in extra-judicial killings by state actors with the government doing little or nothing about it. The government, through the Minister of Defence, has instead callously abdicated its responsibility and called Nigerian citizens ‘cowards’ and urged Nigerians to ‘defend themselves’.
“Kidnapping for ransom has assumed an industrial and deadly scale never witnessed on the African continent. Our children are no longer safe in schools and Nigerian citizens and communities are now pauperised by terrorists, who extort huge ransoms while murdering their hostages. We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, what has now become the government’s standard state policy of using taxpayers’ money to pay terrorists, thereby funding and encouraging terrorism and criminality”.
They further alleged there are gross injustices by government against the Nigerian people such that peaceful protesters are threatened and attacked by the government’s security agents, 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.
The CSOs urged the President to take immediate steps to provide political and moral leadership for the security crisis and ensure governmental actions are humane in tandem with Section 17 (2) (C) of the Constitution.