The Young Women’s Christian Association of Nigeria (YWCA) is grossly concerned and agonised by the recent senseless attacks and bloodbath that occurred in Plateau State on Saturday 23rd June, 2018 and even of others in different parts of our beloved country, Nigeria. It is so sad and terrifying that no day passes without news report of some killings by gunmen and destruction of communities in the country. It is also worrisome that there appear not to be known evidences of provocation for the unleashing of these attacks and killings. We are quick to also state herein that even if there be provocation of any sort, the offended should use legal means of obtaining justice within the ambit of the law of the land.

We are outraged at the recent attacks in Plateau State resulting in the death of about 200 persons. This is one attack, too many.

As an NGO with peace building as one of our thematic issues we unequivocally condemn these attacks, killings and all forms of violence in whatever name whether religion and /or commerce. It is absolutely unacceptable to Nigerians. As it were, a lot of women and young girls who we work for their empowerment and all round development are directly and indirectly affected. Some have become widows, suffering food crises, rendered homeless with education of the girls disrupted.

It is against the above background that it goes without saying that there is urgent need on the Federal Government to review the country’s security architecture in order to effectively secure the lives and property of Nigerians. This call is urgent more than ever before. There is need to strengthen and overhaul the security machinery of the nation to function proactively. The most vulnerable spots of these attacks and the states are known to make our security be on alert at such spots and prevent the attacks before they are unleashed. It is becoming hard to believe that the Federal Government agrees with the constitutional provision that security and welfare of citizens is the primary purpose of government. The press assurances by government of being on top of the situation must translate into visible practical actions.

We further state that Nigerians cannot continue to live in fear and without sleep when they have a government with duty to protect them. The Federal Government is hereby called to arrest and bring to book the perpetrators of these evils to deter others from engaging in the same evil and to restore confidence of Nigerians in their leadership. The Government should know that when criminal acts are not punished, potential criminals are encouraged to violate the laws of the land.

We also call on all Nigerians to embrace peace and to build bridges of trust for mutual co-existence and unity.

Our hearts go out to all the relatives of those killed in the carnage with prayers of comfort to sooth their grief.

The YWCA of Nigeria is a voluntary, non-profit multigenerational women’s organization with membership strength of 20,000 women, young women and girls in 133 branches spread across 19 states of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. YWCA of Nigeria cuts across religion, race and status in its affiliation to the World YWCA- the oldest and largest network of 25 million women and girls advocating for peace, education, justice, health, human rights and care for the environment in 132 countries. The YWCA movement has been at the forefront of raising the status of women for more than a century and half.