At least 112 persons have been killed and about 160 kidnapped following bloody attacks in Kaduna and Plateau states within the last one month, Amnesty International has said.
According to a communique on Tuesday, the rights organization attributed the deaths to failure on the part of Nigerian authorities to live up to their obligation to protect the right to life.
Amnesty International stated that the authorities’ failure enabled a month of bloody attacks on both farmers and herders, in parts of Kaduna and Plateau states.
“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.
The NGO’s further noted that its 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.
The communique adds that no fewer than 34 persons lost their lives in Plateau state, including 7 herders who were attacked on 1 July at Dogon Gaba and 2 others who 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,” the statement reads in part.
A 39-year-old farmer is said to have 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 told 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,” the agency added.
While emphasizing that Nigerians have a right to be protected by the government, the non-governmental body urged the authorities to “act swiftly to prevent such attacks from happening,” adding that “the slow response from security forces is clearly causing increased casualties”.
AI wondered how much longer the people must be forced to live in fear as such brutal attacks continue.
Herders and farmers’ clashes have lingered for quite a while in Nigeria, especially in the north where the two groups battle over access to resources including water, land and pasture.
The conflict has become perpetual, and Amnesty International blames this on the failure of the Nigerian government to investigate, arrest and prosecute perpetrators.