National Security: Buhari Has So Far, Failed – Joint Civil Society Action Coalition

21 FEB 2021


Nigeria is in dire straits. All over the country, Nigerian citizens, including children, are killed daily by terrorists and criminals as well as in extra-judicial killings by state actors with the government doing little or nothing about it. The government, through the Minister of Defence, 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 pauperised by terrorists who extort huge ransoms while murdering their hostages. We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, what has now become the government’s standard state policy 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 with:

● The unending war in the North East with our troops often bearing the brunt of this government’s security failures;

● Gross injustices by President Buhari’s government against the Nigerian people such that peaceful protesters are threatened and attacked by the government’s security agents while terrorists carrying out mass murder, rape, maiming and kidnapping of Nigerians including women and children are feted, molly coddled, granted ‘amnesty’ and paid by the government. This is tantamount to funding and supporting terrorists, encouraging murder and the decimation of the Nigeria’s gallant troops and amounts to treason against the Nigerian State and people;

● Terrorist herder attacks on unarmed farming communities and reprisal attacks in the face of government inaction and failure to bring the terrorist herdsmen and their funders to justice;

● Large scale terrorist attacks in the North West irresponsibly tagged by the government as ‘banditry’ in a bid to downplay their criminality;

● Industrial scale kidnappings all across the country;

● Extrajudicial killings by State Security agents in various forms

● Inter-ethnic violence and

● Menace of political cult gangs and ethnic militia.

Furthermore, Section 14 of the Constitution has imposed a duty on the State i.e FG, States & LGs. All Governments should invest in the security of life and property of every citizen. And since, armed robbery, kidnapping and murder or culpable homicide are state offences. All arrested suspected should be prosecuted by State Attorney Generals

Nigeria is completely under policed. As a matter of urgency, more security personnel should be employed, trained and motivated to defend the society. When an American citizen was recently kidnapped in Niger State no ransom was paid. Yet, a team of US troops invaded the country, killed two of the kidnappers and freed the abducted American!

Our Demands

This government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has failed to protect Nigerians as is their primary duty under Section 14 (2)b of the 1999 Constitution and we hold President Buhari solely responsible as the buck stops at his desk. As Civil Society organisations, we call on the President to take immediate steps to :

Provide political and moral leadership for the security crisis and ensure governmental actions are humane in tandem with Section 17 (2) ( C ) of the Constitution;

The Nigeria Police Council established by section 153 of the Constitution is constituted by the President, IGP, Chair of Police Service Commission and the 36 state governors. The NPC is empowered by the Construction to administer organise and supervise the Nigeria Police Force. The NPC should be called to meet regularly to address the crisis of insecurity

End impunity for abuse of power and sectionalism through his appointments by balancing the need for competence with the federal character principle. In this way, he will demonstrate that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence;

Amnesty for terrorists and abductors should stop. Huge ransom paid to criminal gangs is used to purchase arms and ammunition to attack communities. As security is technology driven the Government must acquire the necessary equipment to deal with the menace of terrorism, banditry and abduction.

Take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state.

Mobilize our rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets.

Where the President fails to fulfill his constitutional duties as stated above, we demand he steps aside or the National Assembly initiates impeachment proceedings against him on grounds of gross misconduct as provided for in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


We remain hopeful as citizens of Nigeria and call on all Nigerians to keep hope alive as we bond together and build a nation where true peace and justice reign.

for Civil Society Joint Action Coalition

Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)

Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CRDDERT)

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)

Media Rights Agenda (MRA)

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)

National Procurement Watch Platform

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)

YIAGA Africa

Tax Justice and Governance Platform

Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria

Women In Nigeria

African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD)

Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre(RULAAC)

Women Advocate Research And Documentation Centre

Community Life Project

Nigerian Feminist Forum

Alliances for Africa

Spaces for Change

Nigerian Women Trust Fund

Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa

BudgiT Foundation

State of the Union (SOTU)

Action International Nigeria

Femi Falana Chamber

HEDA Resource Centre

Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution

Organization Community Civic Engagement(OCCEN)

Say NO Campaign—Nigeria

Women In Media

Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF)

Sesor Empowerment Foundation

House of Justice

Molluma Medico-Legal Center

Open Bar Initiative

Tap N’Itiative

Partners West Africa, Nigeria (PWAN)

We The People

Lex Initiative for Rights Advocacy and Development (LIRAD Nigeria)

Centre for Impact Advocacy


Dorothy Njemanze Foundation


Raising New Voices Initiative

Haly Hope Foundation
Centre for Liberty

Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution

Adopt a Goal for Development Initiative

Education as a Vaccine

Stand to End Rape


Invictus Africa

Dinidari Foundation

International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre (IPCRC)

Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD)

Mowalek Centre for Sustainable Community Development

Silverchip Fox

Connected Development

Srarina Initiative for Peace, Justice and Development (SIPJAD)