About forty-four civil society organizations have slammed the Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian government over growing insecurity in the country.

The groups’ criticism of the President comes a few days after bandits stormed the Government Science College (GSC) in Kagara, Niger State, abducting many students and staff members. 

While one student who tried to escape was gunned down, a staff member escaped from their captivity.

In a joint statement on Saturday, the groups said the President had failed as far as tackling insecurity in Nigeria is concerned.

They said, “Where the President fails to fulfil his constitutional duties, we demand the President to step aside or the National Assembly initiates impeachment proceedings against him on the grounds of gross misconduct as provided for in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The groups wondered why innocent people would be attacked and killed for unknown reasons.

The statement read, “All over the country, Nigerian citizens, including children, are killed daily by terrorists, criminals and state actors. Through the Minister of Defence, the government has instead callously abdicated its responsibility and called Nigerian citizens’ cowards’ and urged Nigerians to ‘defend themselves’.

“Kidnapping for ransom has assumed an industrial and deadly scale never witnessed on the African continent. Our children are no longer safe in schools and Nigerian citizens and communities are now pauperized by terrorists who extort huge ransoms while murdering their hostages. 

“In the strongest possible terms, we condemn what has now become the government’s standard of using taxpayers’ money to pay terrorists, thereby funding and encouraging terrorism and criminality.  

“President Buhari and his government have failed in their primary duty under Section 14 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution, which is ensuring the security and welfare of the Nigerian people. Instead, under their watch, Nigeria is now a catalogue of bloodletting.”

Some of the groups include the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CRDDERT), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA).

Others are Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP), Zero-Corruption Coalition (ZCC), Partners on Electoral Reform, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) and National Procurement Watch Platform. 

Others are Praxis Center, Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education (CHRICED), Social Action, Community Action for Popular Participation, Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP), Global Rights, Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE).

The rest are Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), Tax Justice and Governance Platform, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria, Women In Nigeria, Femi Falana Chamber and HEDA Resource Centre.