Over 20,431 people were slain between 2019 and 2022, according to Global Rights, a non-governmental organization dedicated to advancing human rights.
Abiodun Baiyewu, the executive director of Global Rights, announced this at the 2023 mass atrocities summit, which was held in Abuja on Tuesday under the theme “Remembering to Prevent: Enhancing Accountability for Mass Atrocities Through Effective Documentation” and was organized by Global Rights in partnership with the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC.
She claimed that these fatalities were caused by Boko Haram/ISWAP attacks, battles between communities and cults, extrajudicial killings, herdsmen attacks, lone incidents of attack, mob attacks, political violence, ritual killings, and secessionist movements.
According to her, “The double verified data that we have gathered tells us that over the past four years, at least 20,431 people were killed across Nigeria. Our country has witnessed various forms of mass atrocities that have resulted in killings.
“These deaths are attributable to banditry, Boko Haram/ISWAP, communal clashes, cult clashes, extrajudicial killings, herdsmen attacks, isolated attacks, mob attacks, political violence, ritual killings, and secessionist movements. It is especially distressing to note that banditry alone was responsible for over half of these killings, accounting for 10,234 of the lives lost.”
Baiyewu further disclosed that at least, 5,792 persons were killed in 2022 and that abductions skyrocketed from 117 in 2019 to 5,149 in 2022.
She said, “It is with no joy that I speak. Only with heartbreak and with questions of what do we need to do as a nation to make our way back to sanity? Is it too late?
“Our Mass Atrocities report for 2022 informs that at least 5,792 people became victims of mass atrocities across Nigeria. Of this number, at least 5,270 of them were civilians. A tenth of them were active service personnel. Additionally, out of the at least 5,162 individuals who were abducted, a heart-breaking 5,149 were civilians.
“The drastic surge in abductions, skyrocketing from 117 cases in 2019 to an alarming 5,149 in 2022, is a matter of grave concern. No one in Nigeria sleeps with both eyes closed. You are aware that there is a chance that you may be kidnapped on the streets, at school or even in your own home. It does not matter if you are in the city or rural areas – the style of abduction would just be different.
“You may be rich or poor it doesn’t make you less vulnerable – even Almajiri children get kidnapped. Our children, particularly school children, have often fallen victim to these heinous acts, leading to widespread closures of educational institutions across the country due to fear of attacks.
“The safe schools initiative never took off. Nigeria, year after year continues to occupy the undisputed lead in the number of out-of-school children, with insecurity as one of our major factors.
“The situation is particularly dire in the North West region, where the highest number of killings and abductions in Nigeria has been recorded. Banditry has ravaged this region, contributing to over half of the mass atrocity-related killings in 2022.
Oraifite: Group Writes SGF, PSC, Demands Joint Investigation Board
“Tracking the atrocities in the Southeast and the South-South of the country is a herculean task. The media aren’t even risking their lives any more digging for stories. Even we at Global Rights are painfully aware that the number of killings that we are able to verify are low.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Executive Secretary, of NHRC, Anthony Ojukwu, SAN, disclosed that the Commission with the support of the federal government and the National Assembly, paid the sum of N289 million as compensation to 74 beneficiaries and victims of human rights violations.
Ojukwu, who was represented by the Director Monitoring Department, NHRC, Benedict Agu, urged Nigerians to deploy memory as an effective strategy for preventing the recurrence of mass atrocities in Nigeria.
He said, “The Commission with the support of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the National Assembly paid the sum of N289, 384, 94 (Two Hundred and eighty-nine million, three hundred and eighty- four thousand, and ninety-four naira only) as compensation to 74 beneficiaries and victims of human rights violations.
“Let me conclude by stating that we must deploy memory as an effective strategy for preventing the recurrence of mass atrocities in Nigeria and facilitate the healing of our rattled national conscience.”
Follow us on facebook
The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author and forum participants on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Anaedo Online or official policies of the Anaedo Online.