Ezekwesili laments killing of soldiers, wants independent verification - Trends and Politics


Monday, 31 December 2018

Ezekwesili laments killing of soldiers, wants independent verification

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria  (ACPN), Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has expressed concern over reports that  700 Nigerian soldiers were killed in Baga by Boko Haram terrorists. The 
news reports also alleged that over 2,000 of the country’s soldiers are  missing.
Although the military and the Presidency have denied the reports, but  the serial credibility challenges of the Buhari administration and the  security team he leads as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces have 
created public distrust of any rebuttal by government. And that is  gravely worrisome,” Ezekwesili said in a press statement on Monday.
She said, “The only way to ensure accuracy of the casualty that Nigeria  is suffering as a result of counter-terrorism at this stage is to  inaugurate a citizens-led independent investigation panel. Such an  initiative would go a long way to eliminate the opaqueness of the  counter-terrorism war and restore public confidence, as the case may be,  in how the Buhari administration is prosecuting it.”
The ACPN presidential candidate also frowned at the consistent killings  in Zamfara State recently, saying that the once most peaceful state of  the North West region had been turned into a theatre of terrorism.
According to her, the security situation in the country shows a lack of  effective leadership by President Muhammadu Buhari. “This is  demonstrated in the very troubling inertia to decisively confront and  end the frequent killings of our citizens; especially our soldiers on  the frontline of battle.”
She added, “The killings have tragically earned Nigeria the designation  of the 16th most dangerous country in the world, according to the Global  Peace Index. Nigeria is also the 15th most fragile country in the 2018 
Fragile States Index by the United States Fund for Peace.”
Ezekwesili stated that the constitutional mandate of the government to  ensure the security of life and property of all Nigerians had been  poorly handled, especially within the last decade.
Tackling this will require commencing a security discourse and planning  away from a narrow focus on military responses, to a more collective and  participative conversation of the structure of the Nigerian state and 
our security architecture. Our ACPN administration would without fail  prioritise this.”
We would be responsive to current and immediate challenges by revising  the current containment measures to ensure efficiency, include effective  public communication on security issues without compromising genuine 
national security concerns. We would also bring citizens in as  participants in their own security, through the establishment of local  peace committees as part of the national security architecture,” she  said.
The presidential candidate added, “Within days of being inaugurated into  office, our ACPN administration would move swiftly to launch a  coordinated response to all acts of violence in regions that are  vulnerable to attacks from armed groups and concurrently commence a  strong security sector reform for professionalism, accountability and  results-focus.”

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