A group, Joint Nigeria Crisis Action Committee (JN-CAC), says it will observe a National Day of Mourning at the Unity Fountain in Abuja despite a ban by the police on such activities at the place.
According to the group, the event will be held on May 28 to remember lives lost to violence in the wake of increased mass killings in the country.
Sadiq Bello, the Abuja police commissioner, had placed an indefinite ban on daily sit-outs at Unity Fountain, the venue of the event.
Mr Bello told PREMIUM TIMES he took the decision because he sees the activities of pro-democracy and good governance advocates, including the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ movement, as public “nuisance” at the fountain.
“All of them are in the same category, they’re disrupting people’s activities and infringing on their human rights by blocking the roads and other things. They’re constituting a nuisance,” he emphasised.
However, Chidi Odinkalu, one of the conveners of the JN-CAC said on Monday at a press briefing in Abuja that the group will ‘reclaim’ the fountain and observe their activities there.
“Unity fountain is our territory and we shall reclaim it. We will go there and if they will kill us for mourning let them kill us,” Mr Odinkalu, a professor, said.
He further called on security agencies in the country to key into the event as “they also have lost a lot of their people to mass killings and violence.”
According to the group, in the first 70 days of 2018, over 1,400 persons were killed violently across the country, an average of nearly 40 per state and the Federal Capital Territory.