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Southeast Rights Group Blasts Nigerian Govt Over Incessant Killings

By Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – An amalgamated of Human Rights groups in South East Nigeria has berated the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government over alleged lack of commitment in stemming the tide of killings of harmless citizens across the country by armed herdsmen and other insurgents.

Operating under the umbrella of “South East Human Rights Situation Room” the group said the development has remained a source of serious concern to it.

Addressing a press conference in Enugu Monday, as part of activities marking the “National Day of Mourning”, convener of the group, who is also the founding director of a nongovernmental organization, NGO, Women Aid Collective (WACOL), Professor Joy Ezeilo, lamented what she described as “extra-judicial executions, enforced disappearances and excessive use of force” by security agencies including in their response to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The group regretted that the herdsmen killings, which is overtaking Boko Haram insurgency in magnitude, has continued unabated even as few arrests were made and those arrested not prosecuted.

She pointed out that the right to life is held as sacrosanct in all cultures and religions, noting that the nation’s constitution provided in Section 33 that “Every person HSS a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, safe in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria”.

The group noted that section 14(2) of the constitution similarly provides that the “security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government,” and that it behooves government of the day to secure lives and property that are wantonly and unwarrantedly destroyed everyday in many parts of Nigeria.

According to them, “The government has not shown commitment to hold those erring state agents responsible. The herdsmen problem has continued unabated and there is low prosecution of this armed herdsmen marauding across Nigeria, terrorising Nigerians, destroying farmlands and killing farmers and members of communities that they invade.

It added that: “The impunity with which human lives are wasted cries to high heavens for justice. That is why this national day of mourning is called for in order to remember all Nigerians wherever they hail from, whether Igbo, Tiv, Hausa, Ijaw, Fulani, Erik, Yoruba, Kanuri etc, that have lost their lives.

“Undoubtedly, Nigeria has failed those who have died as a result of the prevailing state of insecurity. The Government has failed them, and the international community is failing them too,” the rights groups lamented.

African Examiner reports that the groups later marched through some major streets of Enugu, even as they clad in black dresses.


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