It’s one massacre too many, CSOs condemn Zamfara killings

A coalition of civil society organisations, the Community of Practice Against Mass Atrocities, has condemned repeated killings of residents of different communities in Zamfara state, saying it’s “one massacre too many”.

According to a statement made available to this medium Thursday in Abuja, the CSOs said killings of the residents barely few days into the New Year “amounted to act of terrorism, an affront on the territorial integrity of the Nigerian state and a threat to its national security that must not be allowed to spread any further.”

The statement was signed on behalf of secretariat for the Steering Committee by Abiodun Baiyewu; Executive Director, Global Rights, Adamu Kotorkoshi; Executive Director, Center for Community Excellence, Rossi Paul;Head of Programmes, Zinariya Consults Limited, Ier Jonathan Ichaver; Co-Founder, Sesor Empowerment Foundation, Iheoma Obibi; Executive Director, Alliances for Africa, Ken Henshaw; Executive Director, We the People, and Redzie Jugo; Team Lead, Srarina Initiative for Peace Justice and Development.

The statement reads: “The Community of Practice Against Mass Atrocities condemns the wanton massacre in Zamfara state which occurred between the 4th – 6th of January 2022, barely days into the new year. We condole with the people of Zamfara state, particularly our fellow citizens from the affected communities of Tungar Geza, Rafin Gero, Kurfar Danya, Kewaye and Tungar Na More, in Anka and Bukkyum Local Government Areas who are multidimensional victims of this needless carnage.

“As an organisation committed to the protection of human rights and the dignity of human life, we join all concerned voices in Nigeria and around the world to condemn the continued invasion of the North-West and other parts of Nigeria by terrorists. We consider this act of terrorism an affront on the territorial integrity of the Nigerian state and a threat to its national security that must not be allowed to spread any further. 

“We call on the Nigerian government to fulfil its constitutional responsibility of ensuring the security and welfare of all citizens, by implementing a more comprehensive approach to curbing terrorism across the country. 

“While we continue to salute the gallantry of the military, we call on them to undertake due diligence their campaigns against terrorism, and employing safeguards in and around the theatre of their operations to prevent noncombatant civilians from becoming collateral damage and casualties of retaliatory attacks by these terrorists.

“We urge Nigerians and the comity of nations not to relent in demanding accountability for the security and welfare of all Nigerians. We remind them that the first and most critical human right is the right to life; and that all other rights and aspirations are contingent on its fulfilment. 

“The Community of Practice (CoP) Against Mass Atrocities is a collective of Civil Society and media organizations committed to the documentation and reporting of mass atrocities across Nigeria. The CoP is led by a steering committee, with Global Rights as the secretariat of the committee.”