We the People Trains Activists to Combat Mass Killings
In recent times in Nigeria, the spate of mass killings has increased alarmingly. From irregular occurrences in troubled areas, these killings have assumed the character of regularity and consistency, creating an atmosphere of fear and insecurity. the occurrence of atrocious killings have also spread significantly around the country. Almost every state is now deeply affected by it.
The killings occur in multifaceted forms; gang and cult wars, farmer and herder crises, terrorists’ attacks, mob killings, political assassinations and even extra-judicial murders carried out by state actors. Regrettably, most of these deaths are largely unaccounted for. Where some attention is given, they are basically represented as numbers and figures without proper documentation and investigation into the personalities of the dead. Perpetrators of these heinous crimes hardly (if ever) account for their crimes. Apart from occasional declarations of condemnation and rage, there is absolutely no indication that the Law enforcement architecture in the country has any strategic response with corresponding wit and brawn to address these killings that seem to have become routine.
As part of We the People’s Human Rights and Accountability Campaign, a training Boot Camp tagged “Towards the Prevention and Accountability for Mass Atrocities in Nigeria” was organized in Owerri, Imo State, with a view to strengthen the capacity of citizens to document and advocate for accountability for atrocities. The 4-day Boot Camp which held from the 10th – 14th of April, 2019,created a platform for practical learning and skills building for citizens’ organizations and activists drawn from the media, civil society, and the academia. The Camp also provided space for experience sharing, solidarity building, and synergy among activists who are passionate about human rights and accountability for mass atrocities.
Ken Henshaw of We the People, James Ibo, a leading human rights campaigner, Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya,a lawyer and social media strategist, Cheta Nwanze, an expert in documenting atrocities, Omobude Agho, a human rights activist and Coordinator General of Edo Civil Society Organisations and Tunde Oluajo a human rights advocate and campaign expert all led theoretical and practical lecture sessions. Participants committed engaging the campaign to end mass atrocities, as well as drew up strategies for ensuring accountability for atrocities.