© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Nigeria has lost 7,904 persons to violent killings in two years – Group says
NIGERIA has lost not fewer than 7,904 persons to violent killings across the country between 2018 and 2020, a group of civil society organisations in Nigeria under the Joint Action Civil Society Coalition has reported.
In a press statement released to mark the commemoration of the 3rd National Day of Mourning set for Thursday, the group noted that there is a rise in mass atrocities and killings in the country, and the trend is barely acknowledged by the government or the citizens.
According to the group, several parts of the northeastern Nigeria remain susceptible to terrorists attacks and a larger portion of the North-West, including Kajuru and Birnin-Gwari in Kaduna and much of Zamfara and Katsina states, and TarabasState in the North-Central have been left ungoverned and taken over by rustlers, bandits and vigilantes.
It added that 34 out of 36 states in the country now record at least one episode of violent attacks within the first quarter of 2020 alone, an indication that extra judicial killings and human rights abuses have reached a new high.
The coalition also reported that security agents have resorted to several forms of abuses against citizens to enforce lockdown and movement restrictions imposed by government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The civil society group expressed worry that Nigerians appeared to have normalized the violent killings of citizens and accepted it as a norm, but it also blamed the government for failing to carry out its primary responsibility of protecting lives and properties.
“While Nigerians are being killed our communities and livelihoods are laid to ruin, the government has shown itself unwilling or unable to confront these killings to put an end to them. By so doing, it has abdicated its constitutional duty to guarantee the safety, security, and wellbeing of all who live within Nigeria’s geographical boundaries,” the press statement read in part.
The coalition urged Nigerian leaders to take necessary steps to end impunity, ensure the provision of humanitarian aid to communities displaced by the crisis, wage war against light weapons flowing into the country as well as ensure an urgent accounting of the missing and dead.
Meanwhile, The ICIR earlier reported the findings published by SB Morgen which shows that at least $18.34 million was paid to kidnappers as ransom in Nigeria between June 2011 and March 2020.
According to the report, kidnapping has increased in most states, making Nigeria an unsafe country for citizens.