Bandits claim 1,126 Nigerians lives- Amnesty

While the Muhammadu Buhari led administration in Nigeria has constantly state that there has been an immense reduction in the reports of insecurities in the Northern part of the nation, it is however unfortunate to note that this claim is rather not true as various news report from various media outlets has been churning various reports of incessant killings and destruction across various part of the nation.

One of the major campaign promises of President Muhammadu Buhari is the curtailing of the various insecurities issues that has been ravaging the nation in the past few years.

According to a recent report on the Punch Newspaper which is a leading Nigerian Newspaper reported that bandits have killed 1,126 villagers in Nigeria between January and June 2020. This report was based on a finding by the Amnesty International, according to them the most affected villages in southern kaduna where armed men killed at least 366 people in multiple attacks between January and July.

The organization revealed that it was able to gather its information through an interview session which it conducted among people in the area, from the interviewed civilians in Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara its revealed that the people living in the stated areas has been living in intense fear of attacks and kidnap as the cases of insecurities has soar higher in the rural areas.

According to a report signed by its Director, Osai Ojigho, on Sunday stated that   “The Nigerian authorities have left the rural communities at the mercy of rampaging gunmen, who have killed at least 1,126 people in the North of the country since January,” Amnesty also pointed out that many of those interviewed described how security forces often arrived hours after attacks had ended, even when officers had been given information about impending attacks.

“During one attack in Unguwan Magaji in Kaduna State, security forces arrived at the scene but left when they saw the sophisticated ammunition the attackers were using. By the time they returned, at least 17 people had been killed,” the report added.

Amnesty international pointed out that according to many of those interviewed they stated that the security forces has not been doing much to curtail the ugly situation as they are always found of arriving at the venue of the attacks hours later after the attack had ended, they also stated that even when the security operatives has already been briefed about impending attacks they would always come late, failing in their duties to protect and defend the people.

As stated by one of those interviewed as reported on the Punch Newspaper “During one attack in Unguwan Magaji in Kaduna State, security forces arrived at the scene but left when they saw the sophisticated ammunition the attackers were using. By the time they returned, at least 17 people had been killed,” the report added.

Amnesty added that at least, 77 people had been killed since January 2020 in the ongoing communal clashes between the Jukun and Tiv ethnic groups in Taraba State.

The organization said on May 28, 2020, at least 74 people were reportedly killed in Sokoto State, when gunmen attacked four villages in the Sabon Birni Local Government Area.

“According to witnesses interviewed by Amnesty International in Kaduna, Plateau and Katsina states, the attacks are well coordinated. Attackers stormed villages on motorcycles and heavily armed. They shoot sporadically at people, set houses on fire, steal cattle, destroy farm produce and abduct villagers for ransom,” the report read in part.

The Governor of Kaduna  Nasir El-Rufai according to Amnesty international was reported to have imposed a 24-hour curfew in the affected areas on two months ago, however despite this development the cases of insecurities in these areas has continued to go unabated.

A further 22 people were reported killed when gunmen suspected to be herders attacked four communities in the Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of the state on August 6.
The Nigerian nation cannot thrive and develop when its people constantly live in fear of insecurities and incessant attacks.  While the nation is plagued with so many challenges over the years since its inception as a sovereign state, it is however important for the government to do an effective brainstorming to bring the nation’s defense to a standard and level where they will be effectively capable of curtailing this ugly trend.  The Nigerian nation has lost enough of its citizens to the various cases of insecurities across its states, if this ugly trend is not curtailed, the nation could see its numbers reduce greatly over the various cases of insecurities in the nation.

The Buhari led administration must continue to ensure that it effects a positive change in the nation’s defense structure. The army must be fully equipped and motivated to fight these bandits and terrorist.



By Amudipe Marcus

August 24, 2020

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