#NorthisBleeding: Petition seeking emergency in Northern states gets 28,000 signatures
A petition seeking a state of emergency in Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and other states in the North-West had garnered 28,000 signatures on Change.Org on Wednesday evening even as the insecurity in the region continued to escalate.
The petition, which was started by one Alhanislam Alhanislam on Monday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to secure northern lives with the #SecureNorth and #NorthisBleeding.
As more people signed the petition, groups and individuals including Amnesty International, the Middle Belt Forum and a human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, berated the Federal Government as the Department of State Services and the police dispersed protesters in Kano. In Abuja, the protesters were not only dispersed, some of them were arrested.
The petition for a state of emergency read in part, “We’re calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately declare a state of emergency in Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and other states in the North-West that have been besieged by armed violence and militant attacks to secure the lives and properties of millions of Nigerians, who fear for their lives.
“Alarming violence and unabated killings by armed groups in northern Nigeria have spawned the region into a full-blown humanitarian crisis and a national embarrassment. More than 30 people, including women and children, were burned to death in a recent attack in Sokoto State after a group of gunmen opened fire on a bus loaded with passengers, according to eyewitnesses.”
The petition further stated that more than 80 people were killed in another attack after gunmen descended on eight villages in Kebbi State this year while thousands of Nigerians have fled from their homes and farms in Zamfara state, where armed assault and hostage-taking is the business of the day.
The petitioners lamented that the North had become a war zone, adding that the United Nations had revealed earlier in the year that 2.9 million people are displaced in the region due to insecurity.
Apart from declaring a state of emergency, the petitioners are seeking a public pronouncement from northern Leaders and emirs condemning all forms of violence.
They also want the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, to prioritise and deploy military troops across these states.