Mass atrocities: Global Rights, NHRC, stakeholders demand accountability through effective documentation

The Executive Director, Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu, has lamented over rising cases of killing of civilians and security agents, urging the government to put measures in place to tackle the menace.

Addressing participants at the Mass Atrocities summit on Tuesday in Abuja, with the theme “Remembering to prevent: Enhancing accountability for mass atrocities through effective documentation” Baiyewu said over 20,000 Nigerians were killed last year and that there is no end in sight unless the federal government adopts extra measures in safeguarding lives and property of Nigerians.

She said: “The repeated killings in Nigeria is a reminder that we need the operationalisation of Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution, which commands the government to ensure the safety of lives and property of Nigerians.

“In the last 4 years, over 20,000 Nigerians have been killed by Boko Haram, ISWAP, community clashes, extrajudicial killings, herdsmen attacks and isolated cases like mob attacks, political violence, ritual killings, secessionist movement, armed robbery and all types of violence.

“The failure of governance resulted in the avoidable killings. It is disheartening to note that banditry alone, in the last four years, have accounted for over half of these killings. Banditry accounted for over 10, 234 killings. In this 2023, we are marking the third commemoration of mass atrocities.

“Insecurity is also one of the major factors for out of school children. Parents now keep their children at home for fear of being kidnapped. We don’t have accurate numbers for the killings in the South south and South east. We will keep documenting and looking at a way out till that change comes. I am hopeful that things will change. We need to find a solution to the madness inflicting pains on us as a people and reclaim our land.”

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission, Anthony Ojukwu, SAN, who was represented by the Director Monitoring Department of NHRC, Benedict Okay Agu, said this year’s election was very violent as at least 137 people were killed and over 60 people were abducted between December 2022 and March.

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