I stand before you today with much pains and tears as we mark the National Day of mourning in remembrance of all victims of violent killings across the country, Zamfara State inclusive. The resolved for a National Day of Mourning was consequent to the resolutions reached by civil society actors on 30th April, 2018 at Abuja, to undertake a National Day of Mourning as a symbolic action capable of registering citizens’ dissatisfaction with the state of our national security, since protests no longer seem to impact the conscience of our political elites.
This call comes at a time when virtually all states of our country, including Zamfara state, have been beset by violent killings with impunity. Currently at the epicenter of these crises is the ongoing violent killing in the Benue Valley and some communities in Zamfara State which is rapidly spiraling into a national catastrophe and is threatening the very fiber of our nationhood. The 28th May 2018 is earmarked as the National Day of mourning by CSOs and this event is taking place in all the states of the federation right now.
The National Day of Mourning is intended to achieve three things:
- Provide Nigerians an opportunity to be united in their outcry against the spiraling spate of killings in the country.
- Provide a platform for a series of symbolic actions to register our collective concerns for peaceful co-existence in the country.
- Accord dignity to the memories of all who have died as a result of the various crises in Nigeria.
The activities planned for the day are:
Humanitarian convoy: A humanitarian convoy will take off from Unity Fountain in Abuja to the IBB square at Makurdi. (As the current epicenter of the crises – Benue state was chosen as a symbolic representation of all impacted states). The convoy will be led by civil society actors, labor leaders, religious leaders, volunteer medical experts and the media. We have requested for the government to provide us with a security detail to accompany the convoy from Abuja to Markurdi. At Makurdi, the convoy will be received by civil society organizations and representatives of impacted communities. A dirge will be sung for the departed, prayers offered, speeches made and relief materials handed over.
Black: We invite all Nigerians to wear black on May 28, or at least a black armband, or black ribbons as a symbol of their solidarity.
Half-mast flags: We invite all corporate entities, and the government to fly their flags at halfmast for the entire day.
Call Their Name Ceremonies: On the morning of the National Day of Mourning and Remembrance, citizens across each crisis engulfed state will gather before their government house, or city center square to read out the names of persons who had died in the crises, after which they will perform mourning ceremonies.
Silence: We invite all Nigerians to observe a minute of silence at noon on May 28. Where they cannot be part of a ceremony, to stand in front of their homes, businesses, cars and be silent for a minute, for markets to stop all trading activities for 5 minutes. We request radio and TV stations to observe the silence and advocate for their audiences to do the same.
- We are appealing to the Government at both State and Federal levels to stop politicizing the problem and bring an end to this menace in Nigeria.
- We are advocating for traditional leaders, religious leaders, CSOs and other stakeholders to sensitize their subjects and followers on the need and importance of peaceful coexistence in Nigeria.
- We are advocating for the government to sit up in discharging its constitutional responsibilities of protecting the lives and properties of citizens.
- We are calling for the government to provide all the necessary equipment, materials, and support needed by security apparatus to bring an end to this impunity.
- We are appealing to security apparatus in the country to double their effort by timely responding to distress calls from communities under attack.
- We are advocating for the provision of relief materials for the survivors of all violent attacks and killings in Nigeria that became IDPs in their homeland.
- We urged all well-meaning Nigerians irrespective of ethnicity, religion or political affiliations to be bold and openly condemn the spate of violent killings and insecurity in Nigeria.
- We are finally, urging our representatives at both states and national assembly chambers to take a bold step and do the needful to bring an end to the merciless killings of Nigerians if they are truly our representatives.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!
May God Bless Zamfara State and the Federal Republic of Nigeria-AMEEN
Adamu A. Kotorkoshi,
Centre for Community Excellence (CENCEX-Zamfara)
08063109838, 08029556510 (firstname.lastname@example.org)