By Philip Agba and Margaret John
We The People, (a Civil Rights Organization that focuses on various forms of atrocities committed in the society and the prevention of these atrocities), has marked the National Day of Mourning 2019 in honor of victims of violent killings in Nigeria.
The event took place on Tuesday in Calabar, where some citizens were enlightened as well as encouraged to exercise their basic human rights and to speak up about atrocities being committed in the society, calling the Government to take responsibility for its citizens.
Speaking as a facilitator in the event, a legal practitioner, James Ibor, Esq. noted that most of the atrocities ongoing in Cross River happen because the Government has neglected its primary responsibility of securing the lives of its citizens and called on the people to challenge the Government to action.
He stated, “Government has not made any effort to reconcile the crisis in neighboring communities. We need to consistently publicize and share their irresponsibility until they are prompted to action. It is our responsibility to document these killings and with it, we can challenge the Government to action.
“We can even approach the ECOWAS community if the Government refuse to do something about it. If the Government consistently fails to protect the lives of citizens, there is no governance.”
Barrister Ibor also called on the legislature to play its part in ensuring the implementation of laws that have been made to secure the lives of the citizens.
“We have not implemented the Child Right Act (2009) by half. If we do, Cross River State will become a State fit for a child. We are calling on the Cross River State Government to fully implement the Child Right Law.” Ibor said.
Also, the initiator of “We The People” Mr. Ken Henshaw who lend his thoughts through a paper presentation averred that if not checked, “the rising impunity and lawlessness, combined by unchecked gang activities, unsolved problem of street children and communal crises will certainly see the state arriving at a more atrocious destination.”
Also contained in the paper presentation was a list of demands made by the body to the Government with the reminder that according to section 14(1)(b) of the Nigerian constitution, the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the Government.
Among the issues raised during the interactive session were the initiation of a process by the Government with clear targets for ending the problem of street children in the State; the system for prosecuting offenders should immediately be reformed to the extent that persons who arrested for crimes are effectively processed in accordance with the law, and prosecuted if guilty; the Police should immediately develop a register of all citizens killed in atrocious circumstances and commence investigation into their deaths.
Highlights of the event include interactive session with members of the audience as well as a group photograph at the end.
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