Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has urged the Federal Government to step up efforts to end killings across the country.
Atiku said killing of innocent people, especially in Taraba, Benue and Zamfara, has reached a terrifying height which only government can end.
The former vice president said this in a statement to commemorate this year’s Democracy Day.
He said it is painful that Nigerians who sacrificed to restore democracy in the country are being murdered, daily, by criminals with government doing little to end the bloodshed.
“As we celebrate, my fellow patriots, let us spare some time to reflect and to mourn all those murdered in the on-going, needless killings across our dear country.
“These Nigerians have been killed in the continuing murderous rampage of criminal elements across the country but especially in Borno and Yobe states, and the Benue River Valley, stretching from Adamawa through Taraba to the confluence of Kogi and Benue, including Nasarawa, Plateau, Southern Kaduna and Zamfara.
“Others have been killed by armed robbers, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and other marauding bandits.
“The killings have even extended to sacred places of worship where innocent Imams and Christian clergy and worshipers are slaughtered.”
“This carnage has gone on for too long and must stop.
“In a letter that I sent to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, recently, on these killings, I pointed out, and I repeat it here, that only government can stop these senseless killings if we are to avoid major and further damage to the fabric of our fragile unity.
“The recent history of Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi and Central African Republic, among others, should be strident warning to all of us, especially those in government, whose primary responsibility is the protection of the citizens, but who have been dithering, making contradictory and ridiculous excuses and engaging in diversionary finger-pointing.”
On elections, Abubakar said: “The integrity of Nigeria’s electoral process and ability of government to be accountable to the people are the minimum requirements to appreciate the sacrifices of those who gave their all; for the enthronement of democracy in the country.
“Nigeria’s journey to democracy was a tortuous one that claimed lives and limbs of many a patriot and it is incumbent upon us, as beneficiaries of their sacrifices, to ensure that we advance the cause of democracy, through transparent elections and making our governmental institutions work for the people.”