Nigerians, CSOs Commemorate National Day of Mourning Nationwide

Chidi Odinkalu

Chiemelie Ezeobi

Ahead of the inauguration today, Nigerians and over 100 civil society groups (CSOs) yesterday commemorated the ‘National Day of Mourning’ in remembrance of the thousands of lives lost to banditry, kidnapping, Boko Haram terrorism as well as farmers/herders’ clashes.

With the tags for this year programme which are #NationalDayofMourning, #NigerianLivesMatter, #NotJustNumbers, #StopTheKillings, #WeAreAllWeHave the protesters took to the streets in different states in the country simultaneously to express their grievances about the incessant killings nationwide.

From mass killings in Zamfara State, in Numan, Adamawa State; herdsmen massacre at Nkiedonwro in Plateau State; victims of electoral violence; Shiites massacre in Zaria, Kaduna State; herdsmen killing in Benue State and Boko Haram attack in the North-east region, they tasked the government to rise to the occasion and protect the lives of Nigerians.

Championed by the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chidi Odinkalu, among other civil society organisations, the underlying focus was to charge the government to abate the wanton killings across the country.

The CSOs were Global Right, Amnesty International, YIAGA AFRICA, Enough Is Enough Nigeria, Concerned Nigerians, Center for Democracy and Development, BringBackOurGirls, Nigerian Intervention Movement among others.

The National Day of Mourning was consequent to the resolutions reached at a meeting of more than 100 civil society groups a year ago in Abuja.

The groups had pledged to continuously mark the National Day of Mourning as a symbolic action to register the dissatisfaction of Nigerians with the state of insecurity in the country and wanton killings.

In the North-west region, it was held in Zamfara State at the NHRC, while in the South-west region, it was held in Oyo State at the Aare Afe Babalola Bar Centre in Iyaganku.

In Lagos, the convergence took place at Sweet Sensation in Alagomeji, while in Ogun and Ondo States, it was held at the NUJ Secretariat in Iwe-iroyin Oke-ile Owo, Abeokuta and the Akure City Hall respectively.

In Osun State, the convergence took place at Okefia, while in Ejiro, the protesters gathered at Fajuyi and held the procession to the king’s palace at Oja Oba.

In the North-central, it was held in Niger State at the Mobil Roundabout in Minna, while in Kogi State, the groups gathered at the NUJ office in Lokoja.

In Nasarawa State, the Township Stadium, Bukan Sidi, along Jos Road was the rendezvous, while in Plateau State, it was held at the overhead bridge at secretariat junction.

In the South-east region, it was held in Enugu State at the Michael Okpara Square; in Imo States, it took place on Wethral road by Akachi junction in Owerri, while in Anambra State, the meeting was held at Amawbia by-pass through Awambia Roundabout to Police Headquarters in Awka.

In the North-east region, the meeting was held at the Adamawa State Polytechnic, while in Yobe State it took place at the FCE in Potiskum. Also, in Bauchi State, the meeting took place at the Wutin Market Roundabout and in Gombe State it was held at the Wildan House.

In the South-south, it was held in Edo State at the Museum Ground Kings Square in Benin-city while in Bayelsa State, it took place at the Ekiki Park by Kilimanjaro.

Delta, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States were not left out as the meeting was held at the Reed Centre Okoukoko; Ibom Plaza and the Isaac Boro Park respectively.