A Nigerian Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance says rising insecurity in the country is increasingly raising doubts about the ability of securities to manage the “multiple” threats facing citizens.
Kidnapping for ransom is an “acute concern” across Nigeria, said the group in a press statement.
“The northeast is witnessing a resurgence in Boko Haram activity, and thousands of people are internally displaced by banditry across rural communities in the northwest.
“Criminality in rural areas further complicates the situation by undermining food security, as many farmers have been unable to go to their farms for months for fear of losing their lives,” says the statement.
The resulting distrust for government by citizens is equally limiting its COVID-19 response, says the group.
“Victims of recent violence are less likely to trust the government’s coronavirus response measures compared to those who have not experienced violence,” it says.
The group made of the Nigerian Prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal John Onaiyekan; former Chief of Defense and Army Staff, General Martin Luther Agwai (rtd.); former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega and five others fears these and other issues suggest the country is “rapidly approaching a tipping point”.
“Enough is Enough. The time for Action is now,” it says.
The group recommended an “immediate” Dialogue Process to address the “multiple acts of violence” from intercommunal and ethnoreligious conflicts must be initiated immediately at the state and national levels.
It also called for end to “Impunity” saying “Criminality and violent confrontations between farming and herding communities have claimed thousands of lives and deepened ethnic, religious, and regional polarization, and yet few perpetrators have been prosecuted.”
It also stressed the Prioritization of the “effectiveness of security agencies” and an end to “lip service”.
Other members of the group include Ambassador Fatima Balla, Professor Jibrin Ibrahim, Mrs. Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, Dr. Nguyan Shaku Feese, Dr. Usman Bugaje and Dr. Chris Kwaja, all reputed leaders and researchers with impeccable records in Peacebuilding.