Nigeria In Review: How Over 1000 Citizens Were Murdered In 4 Months By Malicious Elements

 [ Masterweb Reports: Review by Intersociety ] – (Onitsha Nigeria, 1st day of May, 2013)-January to April 2013 remain the darkest periods in the history of Nigeria outside the full blown war and violence such as the 2011 post election violence in nine northern Nigerian States and the 2009 military action against the Boko Haram violent Islamist insurgents and the latter’s retaliated killings in some northern parts of Nigeria as well as the Jos killings of 2001 and 2007. An investigative finding by the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties& the Rule of Law shows that over 1000 citizens were murdered in Nigeria between January 1 and April 30, 2013. Their killings were traced to the doorsteps of both lawfully and unlawfully armed malicious elements within and outside the country’s security forces including the malicious personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, Joint Military Task Forces, Multi-national Joint Task Force, militant ethno-religious zealots such as Boko Haram/Ansaru armed Islamists/ malicious elements at the center of Jos killings and other criminal elements such as deadly politicians and resurged armed Niger Delta militants.

 

The citizen-victims of these killings include serving members of the Nigerian security forces, militant elements within the Boko Haram and the Ansaru Islamist movements, civil politics practitioners, crime suspects and innocent detainees who were non-violently taken into police custodies, but later killed extra-judicially. The over 1000 murder casualty figures will be grossly under-calculated if the unreported cases arising from vigilante killings across the country, police pretrial killings, secret killings by armed Islamist and ethnic groups operating in North-central, North-east and North-west zones of Nigeria, resurged Niger Delta militants as well as killings arising from armed robbery, kidnapping, ritual deaths, civil homicides and road accidents, are added. If attempts are made to capture all these, then it may most likely be correct to estimate them in the neighborhood of over 4000 murdered deaths since January 2013. For instance, in the past one year in Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, it was officially reported by the State Police Command that a total of 270 civilians and 32 police personnel were murdered during the violent criminals’ onslaughts in the State.

 

Similarly, in four months, that is to say between January and April 2013, over 300 Nigerian citizens were killed in road accidents across the country. For instance, on 27th day of January, 2013, 22 citizens died at Nkpor, near Onitsha, Anambra State, Southeast, Nigeria in a fatal road accident. The number of those who died on the spot was 18, three later died bringing the total casualty figures to 22. On about 27th day of March, 2013, 18 citizens perished along Lokoja-Abuja Federal Road, in Kogi State, North-central Nigeria. On 5th day of April, 2013, media reports had it that 80 citizens and 36 citizens respectively were killed along Benin-Lagos Dual Carriage Way in Ugbogu area, near Ofosu in Ovia South-west LGA of Edo State, South-south Nigeria and Ihiala in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria. On 26th day of April, 2013, seven citizens were killed at UNIZIK junction in Awka, Anambra State. The five fatal road accidents under reference resulted in the death of a total of 163 citizens. More of such fatal accidents that occurred since January 2013 are not captured in this public statement. The ethnic and gender identities of the said accident victims show that 95% of them are from the Igbo-Southeast Nigeria, while 70% are adult-males, mostly at their prime stages of life. The major cause of most of the said accidents is traced to the recklessness of the drivers of the trailer trucks involved, driven by young Nigerian citizens of Hausa-Fulani extraction. Some concerned citizens have described them as Boko Haram Trailer Drivers, because of reckless abandon with which they kill Igbo-Nigerian travelers in droves on Nigerian roads. In Anambra State alone, more than five trailer trucks manned by young Hausa-Fulani drivers have been reported with high casualty figures since January 2013.

 

The figures pertaining to the over 1000 citizen-deaths since January 2013 are arrived at by our leadership from de-classified Nigerian security forces’ sources and open sources such as on-the-spot findings, eyewitnesses’ accounts and media reports. In the Boko Haram associated violence, at least 602 citizens were murdered between January and April 2013. In other ethno-religious violence such as Jos violence, over 200 citizens were murdered in the four months under review and in the area of police pretrial killings and associated others; at least 200 citizens were murdered in various police custodies across the country between January and April 2013.

 

Statistics:

 

1. Boko Haram Violence: Some of the Boko Haram violence associated killings since January 2013 are the following: On 23rdday of January, 2013, it was reported that 12 residents of Jiddari-Polo and Laddan Ciki areas of Maiduguri in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria were murdered by Boko Haram Islamist insurgents. The deaths included one Alhaji Zakka, a director in the State Ministry of Animal & Fisheries. 2. On 22ndday of February, 2013, five citizens’ playing card-games in Angwan Bagadaza area of Gombe State, Northeast Nigeria were reportedly shot dead by Boko Haram insurgents. 3. On 20th day of February, 2013, three persons died in bomb explosions reportedly detonated by Boko Haram insurgents at the Post Office Roundabout in Maiduguri, Borno State. 4. On 23rd day of February, 2013, several people were reportedly killed in clashes between Nigerian security forces and suspected Boko Haram insurgents in Maiduguri, Borno State. 5. On 3rd day of March, 2013, the JTF spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa said it killed 20 Boko Haram insurgents during the terror attacks the group launched at security barracks in Monguno area of Borno State. 6. On 8thday of March, 2013, the JTF through Lt. Col. Sagir Musa said it killed 52 Boko Haram insurgents during its special operations in Bulabulin, Bayern Quarters and Jajeri area of Maiduguri, Borno State. 7. On 18th day of March, 2013, between 180 and 200 people or more, mostly Nigerian citizens of Igbo extraction were massacred at the New Road Luxury Bus terminal in Sabon Gari area of Kano State, Northwest Nigeria during multiple bomb explosions detonated by Boko Haram insurgents. Nigerian authorities, as expected, claimed that only 22 people were killed in the bombings.

 

8. On 16th and 17thday of April, 2013, 228 people including women, children and elderly were massacred during violent clashes between the Multi-national Joint Taskforce led by the Nigerian military and the Boko Haram insurgents in the fishery and border town of Baga in Kukawa LGA of Borno State. The Nigerian security forces went on killing and property destruction rampage in retaliation for the killing of a soldier by the insurgents. While the Nigerian security forces mangled the casualty figures down to 36/37; claiming that 30 Boko Haram insurgents and six civilians were killed, the local officials said they buried 185 bodies. Days after the massacre, the Senator representing Borno North in the Senate visited the area on a two-day fact finding on 25th and 26th day of April, 2013 and reported that he counted 228 bodies from Makabartar Waya graveyard-130 bodies, Makabartar Arewa graveyards-60 bodies and Budumari graveyard-30 bodies. Senator Maina Maaji Lawan, who is a former governor of the State, also reported that six other dead bodies were buried inside town and that up to 4000 houses (thatched homes) were torched.

 

Similarly, the satellite imagery obtained and analyzed by the US based Human Rights Watch, which contained in its public statement of 1stday of May, 2013 confirmed that a total of 2,275 houses mostly residential houses, were destroyed by soldiers in Baga, while 125 were damaged. In the latest public statement, dated 30th day of April, 2013, signed by one Dr. Reuben Abati, on behalf of Nigeria’s President, the government’s mangled casualty figure of 36 bodies was retained. The statement further said that houses/properties destroyed were far le

 
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