CSOs end conference in Abuja, urge citizens to stop blacklisting ethnic groups with criminal tags


The Coalition for Civil Society Organisations for Change and Good Governance has advised Nigerians to stop associating ethnic groups with certain crimes.

This was part of the group’s resolutions after completing a One Day Conference in Abuja on “Appraising 100 Days of President Buhari on the saddle and building a nation where justice shall reign”.

In a communique jointly signed by Chairman and Secretary, Bashir Alhaji Shehu and Barr. Joyce Alobo, the Coalition revealed that in the course of the conference participants observed as follow:

“No region of the country should be criminalized and demonized on account of the failings of a minuscule fraction of its population. No ethnic group should be similarly treated. At such, using ethic colouration to describe any ethnic group is out of place; all herdsmen are not killers and not all herdsmen are Fulani.

“ Blanket criminalization of a religion or sect is also unacceptable even when criminal elements hide under their faith to commit evil. Boko Haram members are not Muslims and not every Nigerian from Borno State is a member of Boko Haram.

“Igbo youth are not drug peddlers, scammers or dubious. Nigerians of Igbo ancestry excel in different fields of human endeavour. Those engaged in separatist-terrorism are not representative of the prevailing sentiments among patriotic Igbo, who are in the majority.

“ The xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa are unacceptable as they conflict with the concept of Africa for Africans.

“ Corruption is not only a root cause of underdevelopment in Nigeria but also a source of poverty leading to crime in the country. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has continued to expose cases of corruption by those that have failed to key into the anti-corruption drive of President Buhari.

“ Several international NGOs are exploiting the security challenges in the country to further foment trouble to the extent that some citizens have taken it upon themselves to demand their expulsion.

“ The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) remain designated as terrorist organisations and consequently proscribed; although some disgruntled politicians continue to support and finance these groups to cause problems for the country.

“ The military has continued to diligently discharge its responsibility by containing the excesses of violent and terrorist groups to keep the country safe and secure.

“ President Buhari has performed excellently in his first 100 days in office since he was sworn in for his second term in office. “

Among others, the Coalition, however, urged Nigerians to end stereotypes based on the action of a negligible portion of the population.

The group further called on Nigerians to display more patriotism on xenophobic attack on their compatriots in South Africa with a charge that the response from the country must be devoid of violence.

In other resolutions, the coalition urged “Nigerians to unite against fake news and to rally round the military, the Police and other security agencies to fight insecurity without ethnic, political or religious connotations.

“Salute the Service Chiefs, the Inspector General of Police and heads of other security agencies for bringing the various cases of politically masterminded killings, banditry and kidnappings to a halt within a record time. The Army should be particularly singled out for it remarkable efforts against terrorism and its relentless sacrifices while observing high level of human rights compliance in its operations and thereby making itself available for collaboration with citizens. The Chief of Defence Staff preformed laudably in this regards.

“Commend the EFCC under the leadership of Mr. Ibrahim Magu with a demand that the agency double its efforts in ensuring sanity in every sphere of our national life. Other agencies in this crusade should also live above board and embrace inter-agency collaboration just as being witnessed in the security sector.

“ Support the demand for the expulsion of any and all entities that threaten the unity of Nigeria or undermine the country’s corporate integrity through support for terrorist groups.

“ Demand that proscription of IMN and IPOB should remain in place while the government should get other countries to globally recognise and accept the groups as terrorists.

“ Caution the opposition that there is a limit to sabotaging the country in the pursuit of power; the opposition shall be held accountable for any degradation in the improved security situation in the land and this shall come with consequence.

“Commend President Buhari for his achievements in his first 100 days of his second tenure while appealing to him to sustain the tempo he has started with.

“Support President Buhari to take any action necessary to permanently address the security challenges facing Nigeria.”