To hold national mourning May 28
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
Ahead of the 2020 National Day of Mourning, rights organization, Global Rights Nigeria, Tuesday, disclosed that 1, 142 persons have been violently killed in first quarter of 2020 across the country.
This was made known in a statement signed by the Country Director, Global Rights Nigeria, Abiodun Baiyewu, where it also pointed that the killings were traceable to “mass atrocities”, which is currently threatening the fiber of nationhood.
The statement reads in part, “This call comes at a time when virtually all states of our country are still beset by violent killings with impunity. Our tracking of victims of violent killings across Nigeria for 2019 instance, informs that at least three thousand, one hundred and eighty-eight (3188) lives were lost between January and December 2019.
“More disheartening is that so far, within the first quarter of 2020 alone, we have recorded the loss of at least one thousand one hundred and forty-two (1142) lives to violent killings in Nigeria. These mass atrocities have now spiraled into a national catastrophe and are threatening the very fiber of our nationhood; in addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, which is likely to cost us even more lives if the government does not step up its interventions with integrity.
“As you are aware, the National Day of Mourning and Remembrance is a citizens led initiative to express solidarity, and demand accountability for the security and welfare of all Nigerians.”
The statement also explained that resolutions were reached at a meeting of over 100 Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, two years in Abuja as a way to register citizens’ disaffection and dissatisfaction with state of insecurity in Nigeria.
“The resolve for a National Day of Mourning was consequent to the resolutions reached at a meeting of more than a hundred civil society actors two years ago in 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”, it reads.
Meanwhile, according to the statement the NDOM 2020 is the third commemoration of the National Day of Mourning and Remembrance for all victims of violent killings across Nigeria will hold on Thursday, May 28, 2020.
“The NDOM 2020 is already upon us and thus, we write to solicit your kind leadership participation in the third commemoration of the National Day of Mourning and Remembrance for all victims of violent killings across Nigeria, scheduled to hold on Thursday, May 28, 2020.
“Our projection for the NDOM 2020 is that this year’s event will be more virtual than congregational as we had done in the previous years. This is in view of the current trend of the Covid-19 pandemic, and our adherence to the safety and precautionary measures prescribed bythe Federal Government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
“Thus, the usual solemn assembly of concerned citizens to perform mourning ceremonies at strategic locations around the country may not hold.
“However, we have listed the following activities that could be done virtually via your social media platforms.
“We invite you to acknowledge, and as a sign of respect for those killed, list out as many names of victims as you can source, and tell the stories of as many individual victims as you can; and call on the government to acknowledge the loss of these citizens as worthy of more than passing attention. We will be happy to assist with the story telling if you reach out to us on this.”
It also added that, “All Nigerians to wear black on May 28, or at least a black arm band, or black ribbons as a symbol of their solidarity, and post photos on social media.
“We invite all Nigerians to observe a minute of silence at noon on May 28. We also request radio and TV stations to observe the silence and advocate for their audiences to do the same.
“Collation of the identities of as many persons as have lost their lives to violent killings and atrocities; their identities, photos and stories will be much appreciated. These information collated will be a part of the social media campaign for #NDOM20”, it added.