OVER 1,120 VILLAGERS KILLED, 380 KIDNAPPED IN THE NORTH SINCE JANUARY 2020, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORTS
Over 1,120 villagers have been killed and at least 380 kidnapped by bandits in the north this year, Amnesty International report says.
In the report released on Monday, August 24, the human rights group blamed the Nigerian government for its failure to protect its citizens living in rural areas and bring their murderers to justice.
It noted that the wanton killings would lead to food shortages in rural areas as the farmers have been scared away from their farms.
Amnesty said it interviewed villagers living in the restive areas of Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara states where many of the people live in fear of impending attacks from armed bandits.
The human right group blamed the government for failing to end the conflict between Jukun and Tiv ethnic groups that have been ongoing for about 30 years, adding that at least 77 people were killed this year due to clashes between the warring communities.
“Terrifying attacks on rural communities in the north of Nigeria have been going on for years. The ongoing failure of security forces to take sufficient steps to protect villagers from these predictable attacks is utterly shameful,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.
Villages in the South of Kaduna State were the most affected by the killings as armed bandits murdered at least 366 people in multiple attacks between January and July 2020.
The sources who spoke to Amnesty International lamented that security operatives arrive after the bandits have left or come ill-equipped to fight the bandits.
“During the attack, our leaders called and informed the soldiers that the attackers are in the village, so the soldiers did not waste time, and they came but when they came and saw the type of ammunitions the attackers had they left. The following morning so many soldiers came with their Hilux pick-up trucks to see the dead bodies,” one of the sources told Amnesty International.