News

May 28, 2024

4,416 Nigerians killed, 4,334 abducted in one year – CSOs

Tinubu

Tinubu

…investigate, arrest, and prosecute perpetrators, sponsors 

By Gabriel Ewepu, Abuja

With less than 24 hours for President Bola Tinubu to clock one year in office, 85 Civil Society Organizations CSOs, Tuesday, asserted that 4,416 Nigerians were killed while 4,334 abducted in the last one year.

This was made known during the commemoration of the 7th National Day of Mourning for Victims of Mass Atrocities in Abuja, where they called on the Government to account for the missing and the dead, and ensure justice for mass atrocities.

According to the leadership of the various CSOs including Global Rights Nigeria, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre CISLAC, and others, Nigeria ranked 144th out of 163 countries on the Global Peace Index in 2024, sandwiched between countries inactive warfare, and 5th on the Global Conflict Index, ranking as being extremely vulnerable to conflict. 

They said: “We, the undersigned civil society organizations, in commemoration of the 2024 National Day of Mourning and in assessing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s first year in office, reiterate our call to the government to fulfill its constitutional duty of ensuring the security and well-being of all Nigerians, account for the missing and the dead, and ensure justice for the various forms of mass atrocities across the country.

“The National Day of Mourning and Remembrance for Victims of Mass Atrocities and Violent Killings is an annual citizen-led initiative to recognize and accord dignity to victims of mass atrocities as more than just numbers; as humans, citizens whose identities must not be forgotten, and to demand justice for them. 

“The National Day of Mourning is further aimed at rekindling our sense of solidarity and nationhood by reminding us that we are in this together and that the office of the citizen is the most powerful office that can be occupied in Nigeria.

“The intractable insecurity in Nigeria has earned it a place as one of the most insecure countries in the world. 

“Nigeria ranked 144th out of 163 countries on the Global Peace Index in 2024, sandwiched between countries inactive warfare, and 5th on the Global Conflict Index, ranking as being extremely vulnerable to conflict. 

“Since the commemoration of the last National Day of Mourning #NDOM2023 on May 28th, 2023, and President Tinubu’s first year in office, our records show that at least 4416 people were killed and at least 4334 were abducted in incidents of mass atrocities across the country.

“North Central region has accounted for the highest number of fatalities from mass atrocities, with at least 1,600 lives claimed interior pillages, communal lashes, and herdsmen attacks. With at least 1,136 fatalities, mostly from terror-pillage attacks(banditry),the North West came in second.

“Particularly hard-hit were communities like Maradun Local Government in Zamfara State, which endured at least five separate incidents of terror pillages in 2023 in a series of attacks that claimed at least 118 lives.

“At least 904 people were killed in the North East in the past year. Boko Haram/ISWAP activities still account for the highest number of atrocious killings in the Northeast, particularly in Borno State, with pockets of incidents in Yobe and Adamawa States.

“We also noted an upsurge in insurgent group clashes. For example, at least 82nd ko Haram insurgents were killed in an inter-insurgent group clash in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State.

“The Southeast recorded the highest number of killings in the southern part of the country, with at least 344 people killed, and most of these killings occurred in Imo and Anambra States. 

“As reported in previous years, most of the killings were due to secessionist activities in the region. Cult gangs, communal lashes,and pockets of terror-bandit attacks continued to cost lives in the South South region, where at least 272 people were killed. 

“In the Southwest, at least 160 people were killed in cult clashes, herdsmen militia, attacks and other isolated attacks.”

They also added that, “These numbers do not account for the regular crimes of armed robbery and other forms of crimes within that range.”

Therefore, lamented that, “These incidents of violence have reduced the citizens’ right to life and dignity guaranteed under Sections 33 and 34 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria(as amended) to a mere inscription. 

“The frequency of these atrocities has kept Nigerians in a state of perpetual fear and uncertainty and is impacting social cohesion, the economy, public health, and education across the country.”

However, among their demands to the government is to; Investigate, arrest,and perpetrators of these violent crimes prosecute all perpetrators of these violent crimes, including those perpetrated during the 2023 general election.

Prioritise improving the welfare (including psychosocial support) of our gallant security assets who daily deal with the trauma of being on the frontlines.

Disincentivize the payment of ransoms by tracking the financial flow of ransoms and communal extortions to identify and bring to book terrorists and terror merchants currently pillaging Nigeria.