By Agbonkhese Oboh
A coalition of over 19 civil society organisations, CSOs, and labour have asked the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, to convene an emergency session on insecurity in the country and, particularly, in Lagos.
The groups also want the Speaker “to convey the feelings and frustrations of Nigerians on the security situation to President Muhammadu Buhari.”
They made the demands when they laid siege to the Assembly on Friday, in a national day of mourning and remembrance for all victims of violent killings rally, asking the political class to wake up to their primary responsibility of securing lives and properties.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions on the state of insecurity and killings of individuals, including security personnel across Nigeria, they marched from Ikeja Under Bridge through Allen Avenue to the state House of Assembly.
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Convened by Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, in conjunction with 18 other groups, including Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, the march culminated in the delivery of a petition, which was received by a delegation of the House, led by Deputy Speaker, Sanni Eshinloku.
Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said the decision of the groups to mark the day of mourning was to draw the attention of the lawmakers to the situation and urge them to address it urgently.
While presenting the petition to the Deputy Speaker, Oluwafemi said their demands were for all Nigerians, including the security personnel who were being killed “like animals by terrorists, bandits and armed robbers that have held the country to ransom.”
Akinbode added that the security measures taken by the rich and politicians to secure themselves would soon be inadequate unless they performed their primary responsibilities.
They urged the Lagos State House of Assembly hold a joint session with federal representatives from the state to come up with a unified position on the state of security in the country.
They also asked the lawmakers to commence citizens’ engagement including town hall meetings on specific security challenges in their respective constituencies with a view to arriving at workable and inclusive solutions.
Some of the groups that signed the petition and engaged in the march are Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection, CEE-Hope; Centre for Dignity; Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights, CHSR; Education Rights Campaign; BudgIT; Global Rights; Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Spaces 4 Change, among others.
Reacting, the Deputy Speaker promised to brief the Speaker, adding that the House would hold deliberations on the state of security with the CSOs in attendance.