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Groups protest in Lagos over killings by insurgents

Some Human Rights groups on Friday took to the streets of Lagos in protest against incessant killings by insurgents in the country.

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The groups, under the aegis of Peace Action Coalition (PAC), started the protest from Maryland Bus-Stop, through Obafemi Awolowo Way to the Lagos State Governor’s office, Alausa, Ikeja.

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Newsmen report that the walk was in collaboration with Builders of New Nigeria and International Organisation for Peace Building and Social Justice.

Addressing the protesters at the take-off of the protest, Dr Richard Ikiebe, the group’s Coordinator, urged Federal Government to give priority to the needs of the armed forces.

“Stop politicizing the security situation of the nation for the safety of lives and property.

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“The peaceful walk is to call the attention of government and stakeholders to put an end to the bloodshed.

“We speak against the continuous killings which have assumed a desperate and frightening dimension in the country, it can no longer be ignored.

“We believe the urgent and timely intervention will reassure our disturbed, dismissed and distressed populace that there are still people who are resolute and committed to the New Nigeria Dream,” Ikiebe said.

He said the perceived duplicity of the Nigerian security agencies had made it difficult for the populace to trust the government on the crisis.

Also speaking, Mr Yinka Quadri, said it was “unimaginable and unacceptable” the killing of over 100 soldiers by some supposed faceless militias in the North East.

“Nigeria is in crisis, we cannot pretend otherwise, Nigeria is bleeding, we need to rise up to save the nation,” he said

NAN reports that the protesters came with black T-shirts, banners, placards and handbills, with inscriptions such as “Stop the Killings and Stop the Bloodshed”, “Nigerian lives matter.”

Others were “Let Peace Reign,” “Enough of violence, Save Humanity,” “We are tired of Bloodshed,” and “We want a Better Nigeria.”

NAN reports that the protesters were received at the Lagos State Governor’s Office, Alausa, by Mr Bejamin Olabinjo, Special Adviser on Civic Engagement, on behalf of Gov. Akinwumi Ambode.

He said that insurgency had become a worldwide issue and was impacting negatively on Lagos State in terms of population explosion.

“In 2018, Lagos State budgeted for 20 million people but by the middle of the year, the state is catering for 26 million population due to influx from other states.

“Be reassured that Lagos State is taking the matter of the killings and insecurity seriously.

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“We are trying our possible best to make life easy and better for all Lagosians and the nation as a whole,” he said.

Among the demand of the protesters was the need to guarantee the security, safety and protection of the lives of all Nigerians.

The protesters also called on government to develop a diverse and comprehensive approach to security management by providing adequate resources to security forces to address the violence.

They also called on federal government to rehabilitate all those that have suffered injustice and horrific killings in our land.

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