By Anayo Okoli & Nwabueze Okonkwo
UMUAHIA— A coalition of civil rights groups, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, INTERSOCIETY, has alleged that over 220 killings and other violent deaths arising from what it called non-traditional crimes have been recorded in Nigeria in the last two weeks, lamenting that Nigeria was fast receding to total regime collapse and anarchy.
According to INTERSOCIETY, out of this number, “no fewer than 71 confirmed deaths and 87 feared deaths took place in Kaduna State alone”.
The group in a statement also said that “there are also no fewer than 59 Christians killed by herdsmen in the states of Taraba, Adamawa, Benue and Kogi since the beginning of May 2018 or between 1st and 15th May 2018”.
INTERSOCIETY, expressed deep worry that in the face of these killings, the Police do not have accurate figure of the number of killings going on in the country.
“The official crime records or statistics maintained by the Nigeria Police Force are long moribund; likewise, forensic policing department including crime labs and literature. There are no credible official crimes’ statistics domiciled in the Nigeria Police Force till date; except independently generated ones arising from independent research findings and investigation.
“Till date, the Nigeria Police Force does not have credible and independently verifiable records showing the number of innocent citizens killed through non-traditional crimes such as Nigerians killed by herdsmen and the ‘Zamfara Bandits’ as well as those who died from traditional crimes of armed robbery, abductions, civil homicide, ritual killings, domestic violence including rape; as well as traffic and industrial related deaths.
“The NPF, specifically, does not have credible records showing patterns and trends of these sundry killings or deaths as well as the number of perpetrators or offenders arrested, detained, prosecuted, convicted, sentenced or acquitted.
“The NPF’s criminal investigation and prosecution skills and tools and their general management are also a disaster, yet Nigerians squander over N300 billioin in keeping the Force yearly”, the group lamented.
The statement which was signed by the chairman of the group, Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi also claimed that some of these killings were tribal and religious and blamed the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the government has not taken the killings serious.
“Since the beginning of May 2018 or between 1st and 15th May 2018, no fewer than 59 Christians have been killed by herdsmen in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and Kogi states. There are likely unreported others technically classified as ‘dark and grey figures of crimes’.
“Statistics of the anti Christian killings in the past two weeks of May 2018 further indicate that 10 Christians were killed on Tuesday, 2nd May 2018 in Tse Iortyer, near Yelewata community in Guma council areas of Benue State. The herdsmen had invaded the Christian community at about 8pm killing 10 persons and injuring 15 others. The killing was officially confirmed.”