The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, has called for an investigation panel to probe into the reported killing of 700 Nigerian soldiers in Baga by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
The news reports also claimed that over 2,000 Nigerians soldiers had been declared missing.
According to Ezekwesili in a statement on Monday, the security situation in the country shows lack of effective leadership by President Muhammadu Buhari.
She said, “Although the military and the Presidency have denied the reports, 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.
“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 on the consistent killings in Zamfara State, saying that the North West region had been turned into a theatre of terrorism.
Ezekwesili said, “This is demonstrated in the very troubling inertia to decisively confront and end the frequent killing of our citizens; especially our soldiers in the front line of battle. 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.”
She stated that the constitutional mandate of the government to ensure the security of lives and property of all Nigerians had been poorly handled, especially within the last decade.
The ACPN flag bearer said, “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.”
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