UN Indicts Nigeria Over Insecurity, Killings

The United Nations, UN Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial and Arbitrary Executions,

Agnes Callamard says the Nigeria conflict situation gives extreme concern as the

government and international partners are presiding over an injustice-pressure cook.

The UN envoy was on an official country visit to Nigeria from 19 August to 3 September

2019 to examine situations of violations of the right to life by State and non-State actors;

the Federal State security strategy and the responses at Federal and State level to allegations

of arbitrary deprivation of life. According to Callamard, the “overall situation that I encountered

in Nigeria gives rise to extreme concern. By many measures, the Federal authorities and the

international partners are presiding over an injustice-pressure cooker. Some of the specific

contexts I examined are simmering.” She said that the “warning signs are flashing bright red:

increased numbers of attacks and killings over the last five years with a few notable exceptions;

increased criminality and spreading insecurity; widespread failure by the federal authorities to

investigate and hold perpetrators to account, even for mass killing.” Give us apolitical, true

democrat AGF, SANs, others tell Buhari(Opens in a new browser tab) “A lack of public trust

and confidence in the judicial institutions and State institutions more generally; high levels

of resentment and grievances within and between communities; toxic ethno-religious narratives

and “extremist” ideologies – characterized by dehumanization of the “others” and denial of the

legitimacy of the others’ claims; a generalised break down of the rule of law, with particularly

acute consequences for the most vulnerable and impoverished populations of Nigeria.

” The UN observed that a weak rule of law and its brewing crisis are intertwined with, result

from, and come on top of: a nation-wide population explosion and increased rates of

extreme poverty which characterizes the reality for roughly half of the Nigerian population.

This is exacerbated by the spreading environmental degradation and desertification evident

throughout West Africa. It is also fed by the increasing proliferation of small and military-grade

weapons made readily available as a result of regional instability and originating, according to

some reports, from as far north as the Libyan conflicts. “These nation-wide and broader regional

pressures applied against Nigeria’s diverse eco-political-economic systems are producing

localized systems and country-wide patterns of violence, many of which are seemingly spinning

out of control.” They are claiming the lives of thousands and include, for instance, arbitrary killings

in the context of: the military conflict in the North of the country, against Boko Haram and splinter

groups; the conflict in the Middle Belt, along with some parts in the North West and South,

between Fulani herdsmen and farming communities belonging to various ethnic groups;

cultism in the oil-producing South States and other well-organised criminal gangs; local

militias engaged in mining and cattle rustling in the North West, particularly Zamfara;

the repression of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN),

and the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP); in June 2019, the World

Poverty Clock reported that over 91 million (46.5%) of 200 million Nigerians were living in

extreme poverty, and the mass expulsion of slum dwellers in Lagos and elsewhere2 and

more generally greed motivated policies and interventions resulting in killings.” Country-wide

patterns include police and military excessive use of lethal force in violation of applicable

international standards, the lack of effective investigations, the absence of meaningful

prosecution, the militarization of policing – all of which are compounded by the lack of

transparency and effective communication strategy over the vast majority of security issues,

fueling further distrust and break down of confidence in the security agencies. The Federal

State contains these sub-systems of violence by relying largely on military and secularization

strategies. In some settings, these may have halted the progress of the insecurity at least on

the surface and reduced the rates of killings (e.g. in the North East). However, in many others,

the security response appears to have only added new grievances and fostered further distrust,

without either curbing insecurity or better protecting the local population, particularly those

living in isolated areas. This includes the conflict in the Middle Belt for instance. In yet other

eco-political systems of violence, the security response is dangerously quasi-prospective,

with individuals, communities and associations actively targeted for what they may have done

decades ago, or for what they may do or may become, rather than for what they are doing or

have done (e.g. members of the IMN, IPOB). Throughout the country, the securitisation strategy

has also been used by local power-holders to enforce arbitrary and unlawful policies, decisions

and action, such as the mass expulsion of city-dwellers living at the margins, to give way to

money-making condominium or other private-public developments. Security responses lacking

in fairness or justice are exacerbating the weaknesses of the policing and judicial institutions which

lack the strength to resist the increasing pressure under which they are placed by virtue of the

increasing criminality, conflicts and security hot-points. The UN Envoy suggested that the government

and the international community need to prioritize the situation in the Nigeria adding that arbitrary

killings cannot be condone. Fulani herdsmen return call : Fury, as Ohanaeze, Afenifere, other groups

bash NEF(Opens in a new browser tab) “There must be a real plan in case of the police killings.

Also the conflict in the middle belt and Fulani herders’ farmers, it must be prioritized as fast as

possible because it is spreading fast. “We need a solution to that, we call on the Nigerian government

to look for a shorter immediately humanitarian solution. “Displaced persons and farmers are leaving

in fear. Lack of investigation into police killings lack of access to justice,” she added.

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