The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and a coalition of civil society organisations have decried the ongoing and increasing violent killings nationwide.
They said over 4, 500 citizens were killed in 2020 alone and that a worse episode is still being unveiled in 2021.
The NLC and civil societies organisations in a petition jointly signed and sent to the Lagos State House of Assembly, which was obtained by SaharaReporters, demanded that the government of Lagos and the Federal Government must take decisive actions to end the extrajudicial and violent killings across the country.
The civil societies are: Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-Hope), Center for Dignity, Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR), Centre for Social Change and Citizenship Education,(CENSOCHANGE), Community, Women Initiatives (CWI), Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), 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), and the Help Initiative for Social Justice & Humanitarian Development, Joint, Action Front (JAF).
Others were; Journalist Initiative for Sustainable Development Justice, Development & Peace Commission (JDPC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Peace and Development Project (PEDEP).
The petition was addressed to the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa.
The petition reads, “The National Day of Mourning (NDoM) is a citizens-led initiative that is mourning victims of violent killings across Nigeria and is at the fore of demands for accountability for the security and welfare of all Nigerian citizens.
“The conveners of the NDoM seek the following, to stir the conscience of the political class into developing the political will to protect our commonwealth through accountable governance.
“Hold President Buhari’s government and governments in the 36 states and Abuja responsible for the worsening insecurity crisis and remind them that security of lives and property is one of their most sacred duty under the Nigerian constitution.
“Demand an end to all anti-people and anti-poor policies like privatisation, removal of subsidy and increase in fuel price and electricity tariff, privatisation of water and other basic services, ‘downsizing’ and mass sacking, underfunding of education and healthcare all of which constitute trigger factors for insecurity, crime, violence and crisis;
“Express solidarity with grieving communities across the country as we acknowledge and accord dignity to every single Nigerian life that has been lost, or disrupted, due to violent crises.
“Rekindle our sense of nationhood by reminding ourselves that we are in this together and that the office of the citizen is the most powerful office that can be occupied in this country.”
The NLC and the civil societies stated that in 2020, Nigeria lost 4, 556 persons to killings as against at least 3, 188 in 2019.
“Our prayers are that there should be an emergency session at the Lagos State House of Assembly on the state of security in the country as it affects the South-West and particularly Lagos.
“Two, hold a joint session with federal representatives from Lagos to come up with a unified position on the state of security in Nigeria. Commence citizens’ engagement including townhall meetings on specific security challenges in your respective constituencies with a view to arriving at workable and inclusive solutions.
“Three, convey the feelings and frustrations of Nigerians to Mr. President being the chief security officer of the nation, with a view to coming up with a holistic solution to the problem.
“Also, end all anti-poor policies and suspend any plans to introduce new anti-people policies like fuel price hike and electricity tariff hike that could worsen the plight of Nigerians majority of whom are already wallowing in poverty and hopelessness.
“We urge the Lagos State government to take urgent but people-friendly and rights-sensitive measures to ensure that our people are safe, and the threats posed by the vested interest of enemies of the people are adequately addressed.”