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ASCAB Blames FG On Kaduna Killings

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Femi Falana, SAN

Ganiyat Ganiyu

The Alliance for Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, ASCAB, has blamed the Federal Government for the killings in Southern Kaduna.

The group in a statement on Sunday by its Chairman, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, said the continued killings in Kaduna could lead to national crisis that may undermine peace, economic activities and democracy in the country.

ASCAB added that the Federal Government has the constitutional responsibility to ensure the protection of lives and properties everywhere in the country.

It said the mayhem in Kaduna only reflects the community version of the growing culture of brigandage within the political class.

The group said that those at the receiving end of violence are the extremely poor, children, women and the aged while the ruling class often devise solutions to their private security challenges at public expense, thereby thousands of vulnerable Nigerians are left unprotected.

The statement further said it was undoubtedly clear that the Federal Government had shown lack of capacity to deal with the sad events.

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Falana said the Federal Government appears to be running out of ideas in bringing an end to violence and armed brigandage constantly recorded in Kaduna and other affected states.

It said the violence in the North East has spread to the North Central and the North West warning that if unchecked, it might threaten peace and cooexistence across the country and set the nation on the path of ruin

“Corruption, politics of exclusion, economic policies that increase unemployment, and lack of creativity continue to fuel public frustration and resentment across the country compounding an increasing breakdown of public trust in those holding public officers.

“The situation has been further compounded by weak institutions and inept leadership both at the state and national levels” ASCAB said.

It said the lack of opportunities, poverty and the imposition of tough economic measures on Nigerians are partly responsible for prejudices, hate and expression of violence found in many communities in Nigeria.

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“Nigeria is fast becoming a state of blood where human lives no longer matter. It is unfortunate that while the Federal Government invests billions of naira in the procurement of arms to fight violence, it has failed to develop an appropriate economic roadmap to deal with one of the root causes of violence which is poverty.”

It also warned that unending violence and banditry will help the spread of the coronavirus disease thereby putting the lives of many people in the North in danger.

“Violence and killings have seen the emergence of several refugee camps and the flee of health workers in vulnerable communities. Territories ravaged by killings will naturally disregard the rules necessary for the prevention of COVID-19. This only means that as long as instability continues, the prospect of livelihood and effective public health protection is dim.”

ASCAB said many states in the country including Katsina where President Mohammadu Buhari comes from are at the mercy of terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and criminal gangs.

It said that though the Federal Government continuously assures Nigerians of safety of lives and property, the guarantee has become a mirage in the face of ceaseless attacks.

The group said the country has continued to witness massacres of defenceless citizens and that the number of arms in the hands of non state actors is alarming.

“Several survivors of this escalating crisis are currently in IDPs. These include children and women. These children are denied education and the basic necessities of life necessary for their growth in the first years of their lives.”

ASCAB said many Nigerians are fleeing to neighbouring African States due to the fact that their homeland has failed to guarantee peace for them.

It condemned the statement credited to the Federal Government that “From available security records, the problem in Southern Kaduna is an evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds”. It described such statements by the FG as indication that those in power are not in touch with the people.

ASCAB said since President Mohammadu Buhari is the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed forces, the President is under legal obligation to end the violence.

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