NGO Expresses Concern over Insecurity , Proffer Solutions
By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
Concern by the level of insecurity in Nigeria , a Non Governmental Organization, Caring Heart Initiative), has expressed it’s concern over the alarming rate of crimes and criminality in Nigeria.
The Executive Director of the NGO, Mrs. Grace Obakina made the remark at an experience sharing discussion on the rising cases of insecurity in the country hash tagged “Secureourlives”.
While observing that women and children bear the major brunt arising from wars and conflict and are often time the worst hit, Mrs. Obakina called on government to take action to end insecurity and bloodshed.
“In its Mass Atrocities Report 2020, Global Rights Nigeria estimated that 4,556 Nigerians were killed in 2020, especially in the restive north-eastern 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-header conflict and state security operations.
“Hundreds of thousands are displaced from their homes and means of livelihood, while women and children are being captured for rape and amp; indoctrinated into a life of violence,” she said.
Mrs. Obakina further observed that Nigeria’s security forces are stretched, dogged with allegations of corruption and abuse, while the country is awash with small arms and light weapons in the middle of an economic recession, high unemployment and food insecurity.
Sharing her experience, a participant, Mrs Ufoma Akpobi disclosed that she escaped being hit by bullets on several occasions, as a result of activities of cultists where she lived before relocating to Sapele road area of Benin City.
While noting that there were situations when such bullets had hit other persons close to her and they fell down dead instantly, Mrs. Akpobi added that similar cases of insecurity happened where she currently resides.
Another participant, Mrs. Julie Osunde disclosed that people find it difficult to go to farm in her locality (Ovia south-west area of Edo State) as a result of kidnapping, killings and rape by armed herders and other criminals.
Others who shared their experiences on how they have been affected by insecurity in the country, particularly in Edo State, observed that the development had led to increase in the prices of foodstuffs, while they find it difficult to travel from one place to another in order not to be kidnapped or maimed.
The forum at the end of discussion called for reformation of community policing to allow for more engagement of states and communities in security matter.
It also advocated setting up of early response mechanism to attacks, to avoid a situation where attackers spend hours maiming and killing citizens; as well as building on women’s indigenous knowledge to involve them in community peace architecture as mediators and negotiators.
Other recommendations of the #secureourlives campaign include daily security briefing, transparency and accountability on security spending, among others.
The #secureourlives is a campaign by a coalition of women and civil society organization.
It places women at the forefront of a national call for increased accountability on the war on terror and the security of lives and property in Nigeria.