Amnesty International Nigeria has revealed that at least, 60 people were killed in 2019 alone in various communities of Rivers State, especially; Khana and Gokana Local Government Areas.
The group mage the claim in a statement it made available to DAILY POST on Thursday.
The statement was signed by its Media Manager, Isa Sanusi.
It said that its findings “show that the government is still not doing enough to protect people in these communities from attacks.”
Amnesty International lamented that the killers of these Nigerians are literally getting away with murder, while no one is being arrested or punished for these crimes.
The report added that “The authorities have failed to bring those responsible for these horrific crimes to justice and have allowed a climate of impunity to fuel further violence. We call on the Nigerian authorities to take more robust action to stop these attacks by investigating every clash and bringing perpetrators to justice,” said Osai Ojigho, Director Amnesty International Nigeria.
“The government has an obligation to defend and protect the people; its failure to provide security for people in Rivers state especially in Emohua, Khana and Gokana local government areas and its failure to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these killings created an atmosphere of fear and bloodshed in the region.”
It said that its recent investigation reveals that the rise in cult-related violence is a “result of the government’s failure to investigate, arrest and prosecute perpetrators, as the culture of impunity continues to embolden further attacks.
“Residents also alleged that influential politicians often provide arms and protections to violent youth groups.
“In a few cases where the Nigerian security agencies did respond to the armed gang clashes, their response is always slow and inadequate. Residents informed Amnesty International that gang clashes usually last for 2 – 3 hours while security forces always arrive hours after the clashes ended.
“Communities affected by these clashes said despite fatalities authorities have not taken any concrete actions to protect them from violent gangs.
“Whenever there is an attack by the armed gangs, we usually call the police and other security agencies to come to our rescue, but they only arrive when the gangs have left. When they come, they will arrest innocent villagers, mount roadblocks and send security men to the villages, but after two weeks they dismantle the roadblocks and leave the community until another violent gang attack,” said a resident of one of the affected communities.
“People have been linking the rise in violence to arming of youths by politicians for electoral purposes.
“A youth leader in Khana community blamed politicians for providing arms to the youths during elections.
“Different political parties use different criminal cult groups for their selfish interests. If they think their group is not strong enough to deliver, they empower them with more weapons. But they don’t think about the aftermath of everything. They don’t care what happens after elections”.
It added that “At least 49 people have been killed in different communities in Khana local government area in series of attacks between April and September 2019, according to villagers and community leaders.
“On 9 April 2019 a criminal gang invaded Bere community and shot dead 9 people, residents told Amnesty International. Mr. Sorle Deekae and Chief Lucky Micah were some of those killed. At least, 20 other people were reported to have been killed in other communities including Kaani-babe in series of attacks. In May 2019, 20 people were murdered in an attack on Kono-boue community, according to villagers and community leaders.”