May 28 has been declared National Day of Mourning in Nigeria and a number of activities have been lined up to that effect.
The day was declared by a new group which identifies itself as Civil Society Joint Nigeria Crisis Action Committee, JN-CAC, to mourn the victims of senseless killings across the country.
The group said it emerged following serious concern over the increasing insecurity across the country and the need to stop it.
The group labelled the project to mourn the victims, #NationalDayOfMourning.
The statement which announced the decision of the group was signed by Chidi Odinkalu; Yemi Adamolekun; Abiodun Baiyewu; Ier Jonathan-Ichaver and Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani).
Said the group: “We have come together to establish the Civil Society Joint Nigeria Crisis Action Committee (JN-CAC) to launch the #NationalDayOfMourning, as a set of activities for remembrance, solidarity and awakening to the challenges we must now confront in unity. The National Day of Mourning and Remembrance is scheduled for May 28, 2018 and will be marked by a series of symbolic actions.”
The activities lined up for the day, the group said, are:
“Mourning at Unity Fountain, Abuja: as a sign of our collective mourning, citizens will organise and hold solemn assemblies and “Say their names” ceremonies across the country.
“Humanitarian Convoy to Sites of Mass Killings & Displacement: We will from May 28th commence the dispatch of citizen-led humanitarian convoys to sites of mass killings and displacements across the country.
“We will call on the Nigerian government and its agencies to provide protection to these convoys and will enlist the communities through and to whom we will be going to defend the rights of Nigerians to show solidarity with one another.
“Black: We invite all Nigerians to wear black on May 28, or at least a black arm band, or black ribbons as a symbol of solidarity. For citizens with media access, we invite them to utilise commemorative social network frames, or place black bands at the base of their medium (including websites) in solidarity. Our hashtags are: #NigeriaMourns, #OneDeathTooMany, #WeAreAllWeHave and #NationalDayOfMourning.”
The group said for media houses, which form the fourth estate in the nation’s democracy, they would be expected to have a running ticker of any hashtag on their screen throughout the day and on the front page of their newspapers.
The group said all corporate entities and government would be implored to fly their flags at half-mast for the entire day.
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Also, all Nigerians are implored to observe a minute of silence at noon on May 28.
The group said where they could not be part of a ceremony, they should stand in front of their homes, businesses, cars and be silent for a minute.
“For markets, to stop all trading activities for 5 minutes and ring a bell for the departed. We request radio and TV stations to observe the silence and advocate for their audiences to do the same.
“We ask for groups, schools and other institutions to hold solemn assemblies at about 11:45 am and observe a minute silence at noon.
“We will be opening up a register of all persons killed in this violence for proper acknowledgement. We are working to establish minimum protocols for verification of identity and of mortality. The register, hopefully, will be digitally accessible.”
Expressing worry over the state of insecurity, the group said, “The level of impunity and frequency of violent killings in Nigeria in recent times is a source of grave concern to citizens and all people who wish our country well. Even with the suppression of information on these killings, it is quite clear that the toll of killings has risen dramatically in recent times.”
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