A CIVIL society organisation, Global Rights, will hold a virtual candlelight memorial on Friday, May 26, to remember thousands of Nigerians who died from conflicts and related crises during President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight years in office.
A statement mailed on Thursday, May 25, by the organisation, said the memorial would reflect on the “mass atrocities that have deeply affected Nigeria”.
Global Rights noted that from 2019 to 2022, Nigeria witnessed a surge in violence, “resulting in the tragic loss of thousands of lives and the abduction of countless individuals”.
“At least 20,431 civilians and security personnel have been killed, and 12,944 people have been abducted during this period. Urgent action is needed to address this insecurity.
“As we approach the end of a leadership cycle and anticipate a new era, it is crucial to evaluate the security situation, analyse the underlying causes of the administration’s shortcomings, and comprehend the profound impact of mass atrocities on individuals, families, and communities. This virtual memorial will pay tribute to the victims, shed light on their experiences, and explore strategies to prevent future tragedies,” the organisation added.
Several reports show how thousands of Nigerians fell victim to insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, ritual killing and other atrocities under Buhari’s administration.
A report published on May 21 detailed key security issues and killings under the President.
Another report in June 2021 showed how the insecurity crisis persisted despite billions the government sank into tackling it.
On May 20, this organisation reported that 37 of the Chibok girls’ parents, who the President vowed to rescue from their abductors, had died since the abduction, while 93 of the girls are still with their captors.
In March 2022, reported a timeline of Buhari’s condolences on tragedies that stemmed from insecurity in the nation within a year.
Nigerians elected Buhari in 2015 after he repeatedly vowed to secure the nation if given the chance.
A report shows that over 10,000 people died from insecurity-related causes in 2021 alone.
The reported that 287 people were killed within five months in the South-East for similar reasons in 2021. The South-East is one of the country’s six geo-political zones.
Insecurity takes different forms under the President across the zones. Though he inherited insecurity when he assumed office, many believe the situation worsened during his tenure.
Banditry and kidnapping reign in the North-West and North-Central, and there were still pockets of insurgency in the North-East as of 2022.
‘Unknown gunmen’ take charge in the South-East, killing people and grounding businesses, while ritual killings surged in the South-West. But the South-South, where agitators for (petroleum) resource control had wreaked havoc in the past, have been pacified with empowerment programmes and juicy contracts for monitoring oil infrastructures.
In 2022, reported how terrorists attacked 18 correctional centres and released inmates, including other terrorists across Nigeria, under Buhari’s watch.
In July 2022, suspected terrorists attacked the Presidential Guards Brigade in the nation’s capital.
Similarly, this organisation reported that over 80,000 Nigerians fled to the Niger Republic in three months under Buhari’s watch.
Following deteriorating insecurity across the country, the National Assembly threatened to impeach the President in 2022.
In January, The Punch newspaper reported that 2,140 soldiers, police officers, and others were killed while securing the nation during Buhari’s tenure.
Buhari leaves office on May 29 and will hand over to the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu.