A group under the auspices of Initiative for Conciliation and Right Protection has advocated for palliative support for victims of terrorism and banditry to cushion the effect of the ugly trend.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed by Mable Bremah, Godwin Ekoja and Halima Bukar, Assstant Secretary, PRO and Deputy Organising Secretary respectively, made available Journalist on Saturday.
It said victims of terrorism, banditry and oppressed deserved better treatment to enable such victims resettle and gradually recover from their trumer.
The statement urged Nigerians irrespective of ethnic, religious and political affiliation to collectively join hands towards ending the insecurity bedevelling the country.
It observed that Nigerians were living in an unprecedented era, an era where humans were fast reverting to their primitive barbaric natures.
The statement added that the country was being subjugated to the days of corruption, terrorism and oppression, adding that matters were getting worse by the day.
“Lives are being lost in great numbers, dreams shattered and hopes lost. This has in turn led to great suffering, dejection, and even more terror.
“Earlier, it was a group of people termed ‘Boko-Haram,’ who were said to detest contemporary education.
“But then, contrary to the portrayed image of this seemingly phantom terrorist group, their attacks spread to worship centers, markets and innocent gatherings, evoking suspicions from critical thinkers.
“These attacks have greatly affected the Nigerian populace, both directly and indirectly. The worst hit region can be said to be North-Eastern Nigeria but the attacks have, over the years, affected many groups of different ethnicities and religions,” it said.
The statement noted that the fact that not only educational centers but markets and also public places were targeted plastered a huge question mark on the ‘Boko-Haram’ theory.
It said: “Places of worship such as churches and mosques, along with peaceful gatherings such as the symbolic trek of the Shia Muslim have also been bombed. This implies that Muslims were equally or even more affected than Christians.
“Even though the terrorists were said to be Muslims, therefore, isn’t there more to it than meets the eye?
“As realization began to dawn on the rational minded, other ‘terrorist’ movements reared their ugly head – bandits and kidnappers took the country by storm,” it noted.
The statement added that: “Doesn’t it seem suspicious that states such as Zamfara, which are most hit by the menace, contain mass deposits of gold and other valuable natural resources?
“It certainly seems like another conspiracy for, with the state out of order and the citizens dispersed, those whose interests the bandits serve can exploit the resources to their hearts’ content.
“Sadly, not only that these ‘terrorist’ groups perpetrate injustice or attack innocent civilians for no just cause, but some devoted police officers and soldiers have also been attacked by those criminal elements.”
It however, recalled that the armed forces, especially the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police Force, had repeatedly attacked peaceful civilians and gunned down the few who dared to challenge such actions.
“An example is the 2015 genocide spearheaded by the Nigerian Army where more than a thousand civilians were killed and hundreds buried in mass graves to hide traces of the heinous acts.
“Furthermore, hundreds have gone missing without trace and the leader of the Shia Muslim along with his wife are still being illegally detained despite the order for his release from a respected high court of Nigeria since December 2016.
“The recent Lekki Shootings targeted as the #ENDSARS protesters testify to the army’s violations of the Nigerian citizens’ fundamental human rights.
“Ironically, the #ENDSARS protesters, who moved to bring an end to human right violations and police brutality in Nigeria, were brutalized by the Nigerian forces while peacefully protesting before the protest was hijacked by hoodlums.”
It recalled that earlier, the police have repeatedly attacked Shia Muslim’s protest in Abuja but many people didn’t bother.
It added that now, it had become obvious that the attacks were not directed at any particular ethnic group or religion, but the brave ones who dare to voice out the truth and challenge tyranny.
“After all, from torturing innocent souls into coerced confession, bribery and corruption, illegal detention, forceful occupation, to killing of innocent civilians on the streets.
“Innocent Nigerians are still being attacked and deceived while subjected to merciless persecution as the criminal conspiracy thrives, varnished by blatant lies. Any rational humanitarian wouldn’t approve of keeping silent as this mayhem continues.
“Even though in this era of ours, many guilty persons cruise freely while the innocent, especially those that dare to speak out against injustice and oppression are incarcerated and illegally detained unjustly as well as denied of their basic rights and liberties, we have seen what happened to Dadiyata ,it is a struggle worth partaking in.
“This is because acts of nonchalance by the masses embolden the tyrants due to the absence of resisting injustice by all and fueling even more acts of oppression.As human beings, we are but one family and your participation in this struggle should really not be delayed any further. Therefore, we should do away with sentiments and self-centered interests and rise to make our voices heard.
“Every one has a duty to discharge for the betterment of our only country, Nigeria. We the civilian citizens, the soldiers, the police, the politicians have a great role to play in restoring a peaceful and progressive Nigeria. All victims of oppression and terrorism are presently in a difficult situation – In Borno, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna, the victims of the popular End SARS brutality, the Shia Muslims, in Benue and eastern region.”