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In the face of nation-wide violent deaths, Nigerians seek a better deal

A banner calling for a march to Aso Villa, the workplace and official residence of the Nigerian President, located in the capital city of Abuja, to protest the continuous killings in Nigeria, June 2018.

On June 23, 2018, armed gunmen attacked 11 villages and killed more than 200 people near Jos, the capital city of central Nigeria's Plateau State, without any intervention from security forces, in one of the bloodiest retaliatory pastoral conflicts yet.

Following the June 23 attacks, Nigerians are saying enough is enough and have taken to social media to protest a nation-wide uptick in brutal killings using hashtags such as #MakeNigeriaSafeAgain and #StoptheKillings. Others have taken to the street, though in trickles.

As Africa's most populous nation, with 87 million of its residents living in poverty, the Boko Haram insurgency, communal clashes, banditry and other forms of conflict are also to blame for the soaring number of violent deaths in the country. Since January 2018 at least 1,813 people have been murdered across 17 states — double the 894 people killed in 2017 in Nigeria.

Gimba Kakanda, a writer and media influencer, took to the street along with fellow Nigerians to air his displeasure and had this to say:

Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education and vice president of the World Bank also took to the street:

Through his Twitter account Africa Fact Zone, award-winning publicist and influencer Isima Odeh said in a threaded tweet:

Civil society groups also joined in:

Even former vice president Atiku Abubakar was stern in his condemnation of the government's inability to protect its citizens:

In a press statement, Amnesty International Nigeria joined the online commotion:

The authorities have a responsibility to protect lives and properties, but they are clearly not doing enough going by what is happening. The latest incidence in Plateau state, where armed gunmen attacked 11 villages on 23 June for at least seven hours and killed at least 200 villagers without intervention from security forces should be investigated.

On Twitter, the NGO has also shared a map of the killings:

Following massive condemnation over the June 23 attack, President Muhammadu Buhari paid a condolence visit to Jos. In his speech to distressed citizens, Buhari praised his government over the handling of insecurities in the country, but urged citizens to pray for divine intervention:

Nobody can say that we haven’t done well in terms of security, we have done our best, but the way this situation is now, we can only pray.

The president's remarks only added fuel to the fire, as the country's citizens are not having any of that.

With rising frustration in the country, the demand for good governance and protection of lives and properties continues to rise among Nigerians. Only time will tell if things will improve.

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