Posted by News Express | 10 January 2020 | 783 times
Amnesty International said on Thursday the “failure” of the Rivers State government to prosecute criminal gangs including cultists has led to an increase in cult-related killings in the state.
The rights watchdog in a statement urged the government to protect residents from violent gangs who are literally getting away with their crimes, including murder.
The organization expressed deep concern that the authorities are doing “little or nothing” to address cult-related violence in the state.
Amnesty International said at least 60 people were killed in various parts of Rivers State including Khana and Gokana local government areas last year.
The Director of Amnesty International, Nigeria unit, Osai Ojigho, said findings by the organisation revealed the government is still not doing enough to protect the citizens from violent groups.
She said: “The authorities have failed to bring those responsible for these horrific crimes to justice and have allowed a climate of impunity to fuel further violence
“The government has an obligation to defend and protect the people; its failure to provide security for people in Rivers state especially in Emohua, Khana and Gokana local government areas and its failure to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these killings created an atmosphere of fear and bloodshed in the region.
“In a few cases where the Nigerian security agencies did respond to the armed gang clashes, their response is always slow and inadequate.
Residents informed Amnesty International that gang clashes usually last for 2 – 3 hours while security forces always arrive hours after the clashes ended.
“The Nigerian authorities must perform their duty of providing security and must ensure justice through impartial and independent investigation, and adequate reparations for the victims of this violence, including the families of those killed.
“We call on the Nigerian authorities to take more robust action to stop these attacks by investigating every clash and bringing perpetrators to justice.” (Vanguard)
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