Press Statement on the Xenophobic Attacks by South Africans on Foreign Nationals in their Country.

For Immediate Release

20th April 2015

Press Statement Issued by the State of the Union Nigeria Campaign Platform (SOTU-N-CAMP) on the Xenophobic Attacks by South Africans on Foreign Nationals in their Country.

Preamble

The State of the Union Nigeria Campaign Platform (SOTU-N-CAMP) is the Nigerian national platform of State of the Union (SOTU), which is an Africa continental campaign that demands and strengthens Nigerian Citizen’s participation in policy development, implementation and monitoring within the African Union (AU). SOTU-N-CAMP comprises 29 Civil Society Organizations working extensively across all governance thematic areas. 

Following the barbarous, erratic and most inhumane xenophobic attacks meted out by South Africans in what the world has commonly renounced and lambasted, the State of the Union Nigeria Campaign Platform deems it fit to issue this statement.

Text

The State of the Union Nigeria Campaign Platform is deeply saddened by the current spate of gross misconduct, astonishing cruelty and brutal attacks being perpetuated by certain unscrupulous elements of the South African populace which has led to the loss of lives and properties of non nationals carrying on legitimate businesses and living peacefully within stipulated confines and provisions of the Laws of the South African State.

SOTU-N-CAMP notes with profound regret the conduct of these sets of criminals and calls on the South African government to as a matter of scurried urgency institute all duly recognized government mechanisms and willpower to nip in the bud all manner of xenophobic attacks and every trace similar to racial intolerance that is fast becoming a trend within South African.

While the attacks which for the want of a better word within the English lexicon is best described as gruesome have continued in the last couple of days without any meaningful end in sight, the South African people have mostly looked-on with the governments’ condemnation and deployment of security personnel on the streets clearly lacking the much needed deterrent to halt the attacks.

SOTU-N-CAMP calls on the government and people of South Africa to at this extreme and critical moment adorn the strength of character and its entire semblance that such challenging situations demand in ensuring that these attacks are brought to an immediate stop.

This platform recalls with severe depression the enormous contributions Nigeria and other well meaning African countries made to South Africa during the perfidious apartheid regime that lasted several decades. We note that this was done in the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood and are deeply concerned of the insistence of South Africans to carry on such crimes that shock the very existence of humanity in the name of xenophobia. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, we call on the South African Government in particular and the international community as a whole to be constantly reminded of the Responsibility to Protect under International Law and several global, continental and regional instruments. The South African government must go beyond mere condemnation to institute every necessary deterrent measure that any disciplined government must have as a monopoly.

While we also call on the African Union to begin all necessary inquiries into these continued attacks as a number of such attacks have been both reported and unreported in time past, we must also pass the message to these sets of common criminals trying to place the good people of South Africa in bad light of the dangers they put their countrymen/women across the globe due to reprisal attacks. 

Signed

Barr. Ken Ukaoha                                               Austin Erameh

Chairman, SOTU-N-CAMP                    Secretary, SOTU-N-CAMP

Advertisements

A Time To Take Action

IMG_0560-0A TIME TO TAKE ACTION: DEMANDS FOR A COMPREHENSIVE ACTION PLAN TO ADDRESS THE MISSING CHIBOK GIRLS AND THE DEEPENING CRISIS IN THE NORTHEAST

A Press Statement by the IAMCHIBOK Coalition on the One Year Commemoration of the Chibok Girls Abductions April 14th 2015

 

On April 14th, 2014, 276 school girls were kidnapped from their school in Chibok, North East Nigeria. One year later 219 girls are still missing. Despite international outcry, the situation that surrounds the abductions of the girls has deteriorated to a deepening crisis in the North East of Nigeria. We strongly condemn the crimes against children, women and men, further abductions of persons, the use of girl children as suicide bombers, the onslaught of sexual slavery and sexual violence, the attacks on human life and dignity, the targeting of educational and religious institutions and the continued insecurity.

 

We are dismayed by the government’s failure to respond to the social and psychological crisis of parents and families of the abducted girls, many of whom have died in the last year. We ask for urgent attention to be paid to the millions of Nigerians impacted by the crisis most of whom are in need of protection and care.  We condemn the abuses against women and children in IDP camps which should be a haven of safety.

 

We further decry the failure of the Nigerian government to address the systemic issues underlying the crisis including the low level of development in Northern Nigeria which has created a fertile ground for extremism and social discontent. We note the urgent need to address the long term implications of the crises, including girl-child education, rehabilitation and reintegration of child soldiers and the impact of the insurgency on community stability, agriculture and food security.

 

We welcome efforts by the United Nations and the international community including the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC). We take note of various regional, continental and international efforts including the Paris Summit and other regional summits including the resolutions of the AUPSC, the United Nations Security Council, the larger UN body and various national legislative bodies. Lastly we hope for the immediate implementation of their resolutions to combat terrorism in the region.

 

OUR DEMANDS

We hereby call for the creation of a comprehensive, systematic ACTION PLAN FOR THE RESTORATION OF NORTHEASTERN NIGERIA to address the short and long term implications of the crisis, facilitate the rescue of the Chibok girls and other abducted persons, rehabilitate and reintegrate them, restore families and reconstruct communities while putting in place concrete measures to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again. We hereby make the following demands:

 

1)     RESPONSE AND RESCUE

We commend the establishment of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNTJF) and recommend that all necessary support be given to support its operations. MTNJF is a critical instrument for ensuring effective resolution to the occupation of cities, towns and villages and the rescue of the Chibok girls and other abducted persons. We urge the operationalisation of the the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (ACIRC), the African Standby Force (ASF) and its Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC). We recommend the set up of a SPECIAL MISSION FOR THE SEARCH AND RESCUE OF ABDUCTED PERSONS under the MNJTF to ensure that all missing persons are found and rescued and restored to Nigerian soil, where necessary.

 

2)     REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION OF VICTIMS

We recommend the establishment of a SPECIAL TASK FORCE FOR THE REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION OF PERSONS as a joint operation of the National Emergency Management Agency, the National Human Rights Commission and other relevant Agencies. The Task Force will be charged with putting in place adequate support structures for the complete rehabilitation and reintegration of all victims, refugees and internally displaced persons. It will manage the Victim Supports Fund and can establish, among other programmes, a FAMILY TRACING AND REUNIFICATION PROGRAMME (FTR). We demand the comprehensive identification of victims’ bodies through DNA testing and the compensation for all families who have lost members in the crisis.  The immediate set up of HEALING CAMPS AND HEALING CENTRES for the holistic rehabilitation of persons who have suffered from abuse and trauma with qualified mental health practitioners and other relevant professionals must be a priority.

 

3)     RESTORATION OF COMMUNITIES

We demand documentation of the activities of the Victim Support Fund and drastic improvements in the situation of Internally Displaced Persons with systematic and time-bound actions to restore communities and rebuild livelihoods and the collapsed education system under a POST CONFLICT SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY LIVELIHOODS PROGRAMME.  We recommend the expansion of the SAFE SCHOOLS INITIATIVE to include interim schooling for IDP children and the restoration of the education system in all affected states. We recommend the creation of a CIVL-SOCIETY PRIVATE SECTOR COALITION to increase and mainstream civil society and private sector participation under the coordination of the National Human Rights Commission with support of development partners and the private sector.

 

4)     JUSTICE AND TRANSPARENCY

We call for the establishment of PUBLIC HEARINGS modeled after the process in Rwanda after the genocide, which will allow persons to tell their stories and have these stories documented as crimes against persons and communities. We recommend the establishment of a CIVILIAN COMPLAINTS REGISTER in which citizens can make complaints and document crimes under the National Human Rights Commission. We demand a SPECIAL INTERNATIONAL INQUIRY ON THE ROLE OF THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT IN PROTECTING CIVILIANS to investigate the role of the Nigerian government and cases in which it has neglected to protect its citizens during the years of Boko Haram insurgency and occupation.

 

5)     PREVENTION

We demand for the immediate set up of a comprehensive EARLY WARNING AND RESPONSE SYSTEM and support of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).  We urge for the immediate set up of a NATIONAL CHILD HELPLINE. We recommend the creation of a Local Government REGISTER OF CITIZENS and advocate for the strengthening of HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS within the country which would include support for the training of Armed Forces in Human Rights with strict adherence to international laws guiding military action and conduct with civilian populations. We recommend the set up of comprehensive governmental and non-governmental programmes to support the development of children and youth and their social and economic inclusion and the establishment of counter-terrorism mechanisms within Nigeria, ECOWAS and the ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF CENTRAL AFRICAN STATES (ECCAS).

 

As members of civil society we commit ourselves to continued advocacy for the above demands while at the same time putting in place programmes and projects to assist in our own capacity. We offer the collective assistance and expertise of hundreds of civil society organizations around the world and thousands of individual volunteers who have selflessly advocated for the cause of the girls to work with the Nigerian government, the United Nations, the African Union, ECOWAS, the ECCAS  and all related international and national agencies and organizations to make the rescue of the Chibok Girls and other captives a reality while ensuring that what has taken place NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. We believe that these actions will lead us closer to the rescue of the Chibok girls and the restoration of peace and stability in North Eastern Nigeria. A nation is only strong when it protects its weak.

 

 

Signed:

 

 

R. Nanre Nafziger-Mayegun

Hafsat Abiola-Costello

Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli

Professor Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome

Habiba Balogun

Dr. Nnenna Mba-Oduwusi

Steve Bisi Aborisade

Ngozi Obigwe

Samirah Farouk

Titilope Akosa

Ramaa Mosley

Pamela Braide

Adeola Awogbami

Amy Oyekunle

Fadekemi Akinfaderin-Agarau

Feyi Boroffice

Biola Alabi

Olayide Akanni

Victor Adejoh

Magaji Buba

Osayi Alile

 

 

For IAMCHIBOK COALITION

PRESS RELEASE ON GUBERNATORIAL AND STATE

 

 

 

Issued: By the Women’s Situation Room-Nigeria

Date:   Saturday, 11th April 2015

 

The Women’s Situation Room-Nigeria (WSR-Nigeria) is observing the elections for the Governorship and the State House of Assemblies in nine (9) states covering the six (6) geo-political zones in Nigeria. The WSR-Nigeria perceived that with the announcement of the Presidential elections and the stakes becoming higher, the potential for violence would grow higher hence the need for early warning and early response pre, during and after the April 11th elections. This led to the setting up of a second physical Situation Room in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, one of the states identified as a flashpoint for violence.

 

Reports coming from our observers and the general public indicate that generally, the commencement of accreditation started on time as the INEC officials arrived in good time and the massive failure of the card readers reported during the Presidential election was minimal. The WSR-Nigeria however notes with concern electoral malpractices that were experienced in some polling units across the country; in Nasarawa State, we received reports of the electorates being chased away and mass thumb printing being done by unknown persons; in Anambra State in Ekwusigo LGA we received a report of the elections materials being seized at the RAC center; in Jigawa State there were incidents of the destruction of card readers by a political party and snatching of ballot boxes,while in Edo State there were reports of buying of votes on the queue by some political parties.

 

Reports of violence ranging from arson, violence against women, shootings, intimidation by heavily armed men have come in from Abia, Nasarawa, Rivers, Abia, Lagos, Anambra, Delta, Rivers, Imo, Gombe, Benue and Akwa Ibom States. There were reports of violence committed against the police from Rumola and Ogu-Bolu both in Rivers State.

 

General:

We are concerned about the blatant electoral malpractices being perpetrated with impunity by political parties and its corresponding violence, putting the safety and security of women and Nigerians in general, in jeopardy.

 

We commend the INEC for being resolute in pursuing the implementation of the Electoral process, as indicated by reports of improved performance of the card readers and commencement of accreditation and voting processes to mention a few. We further call on INEC to maintain its integrity of the electoral process and do the right thing without fear or favour.

 

We call on the security forces to close ranks and amplify their efforts to uphold the rule of law and ensure the safety and security of lives and property.

 

Lastly,but certainly not least,we call on political parties to put Nigeria first.

 

 

Contact information:

Website:www.nwppe.org

Email:info@nwppe.org

Twitter: @nwppe

Facebook:Facebook.com/nwppe

Hotlines: 0800-2255977