The Nigerian government has been called upon to take urgent steps towards ending what the Amnesty International Nigeria described as an epidemic of gruesome killings across the country.
About 57 people were killed by herdsmen in Benue State on January 2, while in Rivers State, cultists murdered at least 17 people were killed on January 1. No fewer than six people were killed in Taraba State on January 5, while a traditional ruler and his pregnant wife were killed in Kaduna on January 1, 2018.
Reacting to these killings, the Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, tasked government to make better use of its resources to bring the perpetrators to justice.
While expressing disappointment that no one has so far been brought to justice, Ojigho said, “The Nigerian authorities must do more to end this epidemic of gruesome killings of dozens of people across the country. Though these clashes have been going on for years, we have seen a disturbing escalation in the bloodshed since the start of 2018. The government must make better use of its resources to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.
“No one has ever been held to account for the many murders committed during these clashes. The pattern of attacks and reprisals is reaching a boiling point because of the failure of authorities to carry out investigations and end the rampant impunity for previous crimes. It is not enough for government to make pronouncements or issue condemnations, it is vital that those responsible are punished.
“This is the only way to start to tame this wave of violence that is endangering lives across the country. That herdsmen, ethnic militias and cult groups kill Nigerians with ease should be a wakeup call for the Nigerian government to ensure accountability for every violation of human rights.”