By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
Bauchi Women groups have joined their counterparts from other states of the federation in the ongoing campaign against the high level of insecurity bedevilling Nigerian communities.
The women groups, under an initiative tagged “Secure our Lives”, decry the persistent new trend of crime in the form of kidnap, armed banditry, sexual and gender based violence and other heinous crimes perpetrated against innocent citizens.
In a peace vigil dialogue for women organised by Bauchi based NGOs, Attah Sisters Helping Hand Foundations (ASHHF) in partnership with Empowerment Initiative for Global Change, funded by the “Secure our Lives” initiative at the weekend in Bauchi, Mrs Esther Patrick, from the State Ministry of women affairs and child development said they are protesting to drive home their demand for the government and security agencies to take more decisive measures to mitigate the spate of killings and kidnappings in the country.
Mrs Patrick, who sounded bitter, said that the spate of crime pervading communities has a direct negative effect on women, aged and children, who majorly the must vulnerable groups in any society.
She also urged the security agencies to institute a dedicated team towards investigations of killings and kidnaps and always keep the general public informed on their findings.
“The team should regularly update the public on the status of protecting women, children and holding criminals accountable in the country,” she said.
Lending her voice on dialogue, an activist, Mrs Grace Maikudi noted that security is the first obligation of government towards it’s citizens and that failure in that constitutional responsibility amounts to negligence in protecting the lives and properties of citizens.
She lamented that households were no longer safe due to continued apprehension on who is going to be next victim of the criminals.
According to them, “Our communities are under siege by criminals and our government is not doing enough to protect us.
“Our husbands, children and relatives are being slaughtered like rams on a daily basis, and the government is just watching, without taking necessary actions.
“Children are being raped, women are being raped, people are being killed, governments at all levels need to step up their responsibilities and protect lives and properties.
“How long is this going to continue? Enough is enough, we are tired of killings and must end for God sake, Maikudi said.
In an interview shortly after the stand still peaceful protest, the executive director of ASHH Foundation, Comfort Attah said that it has become imperative to register their disaffection with the deteriorating security situation in the country.
“We just can’t fold our arms and do nothing. Because most of the gender class that are hard hit in such insecurity situations are the women and children.
“We calling on our security agencies at all levels to redouble their efforts towards curtailing crime and criminality in our communities for the sake of the most vulnerable groups”, said Attah.
Also speaking, Mrs Dinatu Stephen, another woman activist, urged the security forces, as well as government at all levels to rise up to their responsibilities of protecting lives and properties.
“In this country today people cannot sleep with their eyes closed, this heart wrenching and callous of criminals must stop, enough of this terrifying situation.
“Therefore, we are calling the attention of the government to do the needful.
“We are also calling on all Nigerians to speak up against these deadly acts, and advocate for rigorous security presence in the communities. “She stressed.
Stephen urged the government to implement policies that would enhance business activities to eschew insecurity challenges in the country.