The Nigerian authorities’ failure to live up to their obligation to protect the right to life has enabled a month of bloody attacks on both farmers and herders, in parts of Kaduna and Plateau states, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
At least 112 people were killed, 160 abducted and thousands displaced in communities in Kaduna and Plateau states from July to 5 August 2021.
“Our findings show that despite clear signs that there will be retaliatory attacks, enough is not being done to prevent the bloodshed, thereby fueling the ongoing circle of violence. Beyond issuing statements and condemning attacks after they happen; government needs to rein in on attackers and bring suspects to justice,” said Osai Ojigho Director Amnesty International Nigeria.
Amnesty International’s investigation shows at least 78 people were killed and 160 abducted by bandits between 3 July and 5 August 2021 in Kaduna state including 121 school children of Bethel Baptist Church High School.
At least 34 people have been killed in Plateau state, including 7 herders who were attacked on 1 July at Dogon Gaba, 2 others were lynched at Fusa Village while trying to locate their missing cow.
Villagers from farming communities, informed Amnesty International that, innocent people and communities that know nothing about the attacks are sometimes targeted for reprisal.
A retaliatory attack on 31 July and 1 August 2021, led to the killing of at least 17 people, and displacements of hundreds in farming communities in Bassa and Riyom LGAs, Plateau state.
A 39-year-old farmer informed Amnesty international that: “We have been hearing gunshots in our village since Monday after the attack. We don’t know why we were attacked, I had to relocate to the IDP camp with my family”.
Leaders of some Fulani herders community in Plateau state informed Amnesty International that the inaction of the security officials contributed to the recent retaliatory attacks in the state.
“The slow and ineffective response by security officials is contributing to the attacks and reprisal in the state, people are getting away with crimes.”
Nigerians expect the government to protect them and their property, as provided by the Nigerian constitution and as enshrined in international and African human rights treaties.
“The Nigerian authorities must act swiftly to prevent such attacks from happening. The slow response from security forces is clearly causing increased in casualties, how much longer must people be forced to live in fear as such brutal attacks continue?” said Ms Ojigho.