We will hold govt accountable if attackers are not arrested, prosecuted, say NGOs, CSOs
• ICRC, foundation to partner on Leah’s release from captivity
The Coalition of Non-Governmental and Civil Societies Organisations (NGOs and CSOs) in Plateau State has said that it will hold government at all levels accountable if they fail to arrest and prosecute all those involved in killing of innocent people in the state.
The coalition, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr. Godwin Okoko, yesterday, said killings in the state must stop, adding that the renewed carnage on unsuspecting children, women and men resulting in the death of scores of persons and many others wounded with houses burnt and farmlands destroyed is totally unacceptable and condemnable.
“We see this as an attempt to further break down the trust and confidence among residents of the state and a deliberate desire to sow seeds of discord in the heart of men. There is no and never will be any justifiable reason for the attacks and violence on innocent citizens.
“These violent actions have taken aback the concerted efforts of state and non-state actors in rebuilding relationships, promoting a culture of peace, social cohesion and strengthening as well as consolidating the peace process that have yielded positive results.
“This is evident in the persistent commitment in restoring social relationships, communal reintegration, community resilience, religious freedom and tolerance, as well as the provision of dividends of democracy by the state government,” the statement said.
The groups, which condemned the perpetrators and their sponsors’ insensitivity to the sacredness of life, urged the government to identify the immediate and remote causes of the violence with a view to finding solutions to avert the horrible inhuman actions in the future.
They also called for cessation of hostilities and utterances that escalate tension as well as strengthening of dialogue structures at all levels.
The coalition, which implored the state government and security agencies to be pro-active in increasing and improving security to flash-points as well as safeguarding lives in the affected communities, called on all traditional and religious institutions to strengthen cultural and religious values.
It also urged the youths to promote peaceful co-existence.
The organisations, which appealed for the immediate provision of relief materials by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to affected persons and communities as well as conducting trauma and healing counselling to reintegrate victims back into the society, commended the efforts of government at all levels, security agencies, media practitioners and other well-meaning Nigerians for promptly attending to the victims.
In another development, Mrs. Aisha Wakil, popularly known as Mama Boko Haram, has said that she will partner with the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) to secure the unconditional release of Leah Sharibu, the only Christian among the abducted 110 Dapchi schoolgirls in Yobe State.
Wakil disclosed this on Monday during in an interactive session with journalists in Maiduguri.
She said the ICRC would partner with her under the auspices of Complete Care and Aid Foundation.
Her words: “I am really worried about Leah and her freedom from Boko Haram is very important to me. Leah did not renounce her religion.
“I assure you that we shall do everything with both the government and ICRC to ensure she regains her freedom just like her colleagues that were reunited with their families.”
Besides, she said her Foundation would also collaborate with ICRC to empower widows and rehabilitate under-aged girls engaged in commercial sex.