By Tina George, Minna
Youths from various civil society organizations and the Niger state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) joined in the commemoration of the National Day of Mourning and remembrance for all victims of violent killings across the country.
The mourning ceremonies were being held at the Unity Fountain Abuja and at designated and strategic locations in the 36 states across the country.
The ceremonies are aimed at identifying with victims killed, communities affected, including states that are still in turmoil to show sign of respect for those killed, kidnapped and yet to regain freedom, and calling on the government to acknowledge the loss of these citizens as worthy of more than passing attention.
Speaking to newsmen after the mourning ceremony in Minna, the Convener, Mathew Oladele said the National Day of Mourning and Remembrance is a citizen-led initiative to express solidarity, and demand accountability for the security and welfare of all Nigerians.
He lamented that Nigeria is still grappling with a high level of insecurity and the growing spate of impunity.
Mathew who is also the Convener of the Niger Accountability Group said the National Day of mourning is being observed to create awareness and stir the conscience of our political class into developing the political will to protect the commonwealth of the nation through accountable governance.
“The reason why we are here today in black is that the nation mourns, the state mourns, the citizens mourn. Our citizens are more than numbers, Our Communities and states deserve to live peacefully. “
He commended the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello for all the concerted efforts put in place in the recent past to combat banditry and armed robbery activities in the state.
The Convener then urged government and security operation es a d formations to intensify more effort in combating violent and peace disruption activities across the state.
“The government should scaleup the security apparatus at flashpoints across the state especially its border towns to forestall influx of hoodlums into the state.
“The state government also need to engage security agencies, security experts, Civil Society Organizations and media to sensitize the community members at various hotspots across the state on community policing and roles of community members in building peaceful society.”
The Niger state NUJ Chairman, Abdul Idris said Journalists are involved in the commemoration because they are also affected by violence in the course of carrying out their duties.
He noted that a lot of journalists have lost their lives in the pursuit for the truth and in seeking global development.
Idris who called on the incoming government to face and curb the security challenges in the nation said that peace is a critical ingredient for development.