Ezekwesili Laments Killing of Soldiers

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oby ezekwesili

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