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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Human rights groups' analysis of systemic killings in Nigeria


Human rights groups' analysis of systematic killings in Nigeria

By Dotun Ibiwoye

The trio of Intersociety Nigeria, International Justice and Human Rights Program and Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Program,  all human rights organisation, have disclosed that  Nigeria’s drift to faith genocide through “killing, maiming, burning and destruction of churches and other sacred places of worship-and forceful seizure and occupation of ancestral, worshipping, farming and dwelling lands of the indigenous Christians and other indigenous religionists in Northern Nigeria” has worsened with loss in six months of 2018 of no fewer than 1,750 Christian and other non Muslim lives to terror Fulani Ethnic Militia-a.k.a. Fulani Herdsmen.
According to the Human rights groups, no Fewer than 8,800 Christians have also been targeted and killed in Nigeria in the past three years or June 2015 to June 2018.
The Christians killed in Nigeria since then got killed by:
(a) security forces-1,014 (out of 2,265 killed including 1,130 members of Shiite Muslim sect),
 (b) Fulani Jihadists-5,275,
(c) Boko Haram insurgents-over 2,450 (out of no fewer than 4000 killed) and
(d) Zamfara Bandist-80 (out of no fewer than 160 killed in Kaduna State along Birnin Gwari Federal Road and its surroundings in six months of this year targeted at travelers and other road users).
According to Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair, Intersociety Nigeria, Nigeria further loses no fewer than 3000 uninvestigated and untried detained citizens in police custodies every year-to police racial profiling.
He also noted that many, if not most of the victims are members of the Nigerian Christian faith drawn from Southeast, South-south, Southwest and old Middle Belt Regions of Nigeria.
He affirmed that no fewer than 9000 of such killings may most likely have taken place in Nigeria in the past three years in police detention facilities particularly those manned by Police Special Anti Robbery Squad( SARS)  and State Criminal Investigative Department(CIDs).
“ From our general evaluation, too, no fewer than 2,360 innocent Nigerians were killed by Fulani Jihadists-1,750,  Boko Haram-250 and Zamfara Bandits-360 in first six months of 2018 (Jan-June 2018)-and no fewer than 13,221 defenseless Nigerians also got killed by the trio as well as the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force & ors in the past three years”, he said
“If added to 13, 221 deaths cumulatively arising from non state actor Ethno-Jihadist violence and state excessive use of violence against defenseless citizens in the last three years.
“Nigeria must have lost a total of 22, 221 mostly Christian lives in the past three years or between June 2015 and June 2018 under the present central Government of Muhammadu Buhari.  A retired army major general, was inaugurated as Nigeria’s sixth civilian President on 29th May 2015 for first term of four years which elapses on 29th May 2019.
Corroborating the aforementioned report,  Head, Civil Liberties and  Rule of Law Program ,Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq., asserted that  not less than 100 churches and other sacred places of worship belonging to Christians and other non Muslims have also been burnt to ashes or destroyed in the past six months of 2018 (Jan-June).  
Igboeli  noted that the number of churches and other sacred places of worship destroyed or burnt to ashes in the past three years are not less than 1000 and they did not include over 13,000 burnt or destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents between 2009 and 2014 as contained in the 2015 special report of the Open Doors Int’l Report, USA.
She stated that statistical breakdown of 1,750 Christian Deaths: From their general evaluation of the killings by terror Fulani Militia (a.k.a. Fulani Herdsmen), Benue State recorded the highest number of rural Christian and other non Muslim deaths in first six months of 2018 with no fewer than 600, followed by Plateau State with 400; Taraba 250; Nasarawa 200; Southern Kaduna 100, Adamawa 100 and Kogi State 100; totaling no fewer than 1,750 Christian and other members of non Muslim population.
“The total death toll in Plateau State following the 23rd and 24th June 2018 coordinated attacks and killings in eleven villages may most likely have hit 300, from its present 250, out of which 218 bodies have been recovered and buried in mass graves.” She said
“The activists on the ground said dozens of people are still missing after the head count was carried out. Those still missing are presumed to have died. This is more so when they are not among the injured and survivors.
“The 218 recovered and buried dead bodies, according to Middle Belt activists and authorities of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) included 80 recovered from Nhyer, 40 from Exland (G/Akwati), 34 from Ruku and 5 from Kuzen, all under Gashish District; 34 from Gana Ropp, one from Razat, one from Takwot and 2 from Rakwot all under Ropp District. Eight dead bodies were recovered from Shonong under Bachi District; and one from Kwi under Riyom District.
“ Other recovered and buried dead bodies were 2 from Heipang and four others killed by soldiers in Anguldi and one from K-Vwang areas; totaling 218 as at Wednesday, 27th June 2018.
Statistical Breakdown of 13,221 Deaths including 8,800 Christians:  Between June 2015 and June 2018, a period of three years, a total of not less than 13, 221 defenseless lives were lost to: (a) terror Fulani Ethnic Militia or Jihadist group-Christian 5,275 lives, (b) Boko Haram-4000 lives, (c) Nigerian Army/Nigerian Air Force & ors-2, 265 lives and Zamfara Bandits-1, 500 lives; totaling 13,221; involving 8, 800 Christians and 4,420 Muslims.
She also stressed that  the Nigerian security forces particularly Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force had in the past three years ordered and supervised the killing via aerial bombardment, starvation to death and shooting to death of: (a) 450 pro Biafra Christians and non Muslim others in Southeast and South-south (August 2015-September 2017), (b) 236 Christian IDPs in Kale-Balge in Borno State (Jan 2017), (c) 50 rural Christians Numan, Adamawa State (December 2017), (d) 240 civilian detainees at Giwa Military Barracks in Borno State (2016), (e) 1,130 members of Shiite Muslim sect in Kaduna State (December 2015) and (f) 159 children in Northeast Nigeria (2017); totaling 2,265 civilian deaths.
“Terror Fulani Ethnic Militia or Jihadists (a.k.a. Fulani Herdsmen) had in the past three years killed: (a) not less than 525 rural Christians and other non Muslims between June 2015 and January 2016; (b) not less than 1300 Christians between February and December 2016 including Agatu, Nimbo and Southern Kaduna massacres involving no fewer than 1,200 Christian and other non Muslim deaths; (c) not less than 1,700 Christian deaths in 2017; and (d) no fewer than 1,750 Christians in first six months of 2018; totaling  5,275 Christian deaths since June 2015.   
“Terror or Jihadist Boko Haram group, which solely targeted Christians and their sacred places of worship since 2009 had between May 2015 and May 2016 recorded the highest number of mostly Christian casualties since the inception of Buhari Administration by killing 2,569 persons. This was contained in the Punch Newspaper special investigation report of 28, May 2016.
“The reduction was said to have been caused by divisions within its ranks and alleged withdrawal of supports by some northern radical political actors; forcing remnants of the violent sect to pitch tent with radical Islamic Movement in West Africa.
On her part, International  Justice and Human Rights Program’s, Head, Chinaza Ndidiamaka Bernard, Esq.,  affirmed that the Jihadist terror group had its killing and maiming records declined between June and December 2016 when it killed about 300 mainly Christians.
The violent sect also between January and December 2017 killed no fewer than 861 people including 411 children killed via bomb blasts and 450 others killed in over 75 attacks, she stated.
“These were contained in AI and UN reports of 2017 and 2018 respectively. The Jihadist sect has so far killed no fewer than 250 persons in first six months of 2018. On its part, the Zamfara Muslim Bandits also accounted for no fewer than 1,500 civilian deaths mostly in Zamfara State since June 2015.
“The terror Bandits have killed no fewer than 360 in first six months of 2018 including killing of not less than 160 mostly travelers and other road users in Kaduna State; among them were not less than 80 Christian travelers and other road users.
The human rights activists noted that back-up statistics from various research findings showed that  critical evaluation of various recent reports within and beyond Nigeria concerning the country’s untamed killing spree in the past three years as well as re-evaluation of our previous research or investigative findings.
“For instance, by the recent account of the United States Council on Foreign Relations, “no fewer than 19,980 killings took place under the present Buhari Government in the past three years” and “Fulani Herdsmen Militia killed 1,061 people (Christians) in 106 attacks in Nigeria between January and April 2018”-a period of past four months.
“The US Council on Foreign Relations’ report did not specify whether the figure of 19,980 deaths included victims of police brutality or custodial killings or victims of violent crimes (i.e. armed robbery, rape and related domestic violence or abduction) or automobile accidents in Nigeria.
Also by the account of the Christian Solidarity Worldwide, UK, “Fulani Herdsmen Militias have killed more men, women and children in 2015, 2016 and 2017 than Boko Haram”. The report says “rare retaliatory attacks against Fulani Herdsmen militias resulted only in 61 deaths in seven attacks including two in Southern Nigeria”.
Bernard said that by the account of the Government of Benue State, dated 30th June 2018, “over 500 rural Christian lives were lost to Fulani Herdsmen Militia in Benue State alone in the first six months of 2018”. The State Government had earlier on 22nd May 2018 during the burial of two slain Catholic Priests and seventeen other Catholic faithful killed by Fulani Jihadists in late April disclosed that it lost 492 rural Christians between January and 3rd week of May 2018”.
Further, by the account of Amnesty International,, given at end of last month, “we verified 1,813 deaths across 17 States in Nigeria involving Fulani Herdsmen-Farmers clashes”, banditry and Boko Haram”.  By recent report of the United Nations Secretary General: “Children & Armed Conflict”, “out of 881 children killed or maimed in Nigeria in 2017, 570 were killed, out of which 411 were killed by Boko Haram and 159 others killed by Nigerian Security Forces: Boko Haram killed or maimed 570 children while Nigerian Security Forces killed or maimed 311 others”.
She further stated that 8The death of 570 children in Nigeria’s Northeast did not include 411 Boko Haram insurgency related deaths in 75 attacks which Amnesty Int’l reported in early December 2017.
Adding that no fewer than 40 others were killed by the Jihadist sect between early and end of December 2017. The authorities of This Day Newspaper have on 30th April released an investigative report chronicling the killing perpetrated mostly by Fulani Jihadists of 901 defenseless citizens between January and April 2018.
 The statistics included 50 innocent citizens shot dead by dare devil armed robbers in Offa, Kwara State, North-central Nigeria. About 850 of the victims are members of Nigerian Christian faith.

Patterns & Trends of Fulani & Boko Haram Jihadist Violent Attacks
The rights group stated that There are killing of more men, women and children including newborn, infants and pre-primary school children, all of Christian faith and non Muslim others by Fulani Jihadists particularly in Middle Belt Region of Nigeria; than those killed by Boko Haram Islamic insurgents-between June 2016 and June 2018.
They noted that the Fulani Jihadists solely target Christians and their sacred places of worship or churches in their nearly 15yrs Jihadist violence, which escalated with more sophistication and government complicity since June 2015.

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