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UN decries arbitrary killings in Nigeria, says it’s a tragedy to the people

UN decries arbitrary killings in Nigeria, says it's a tragedy to the people

The United Nations (UN) on Monday night condemned the growing cases of arbitrary and extrajudicial killings in Nigeria, calling it a tragedy for the people that must be stopped.

The world body also lamented that Nigeria was being confronted by regional and global pressures never experienced in the past 15 years “due to population explosion, increased number of people living in poverty, climate change, desertification and the increased proliferation of weapons.”

Counselling the Nigerian government that it must obey court orders without discrimination and arbitrariness, the UN said “this, by itself, is also a factor of distrust in the system.”

The UN Special Rapporteur (Extrajudicial and Summary Executions), Dr Agnes Callamard, stated these while answering questions from journalists in Abuja on Monday night, adding that Nigerian remained “a pressure cooker of violence which is claiming thousands of lives.”

Callamard was briefing journalists on her findings after a 12-day official visit to Nigeria between August 19 and September 3, 2019 to appraise allegation of extrajudicial killings in the country.

Read also: XENOPHOBIA: It’s time to take ‘decisive actions’ to protect Nigerians in South Africa —Ezekwesili

The visit was also to examine situations of violation of the right to life by state and non-state actors.

She said: “According to my preliminary findings, Nigeria is a pressure cooker of internal conflict and generalised pattern of lack of accountability that must be addressed urgently with issues of poverty and climate change adding to the crisis.

“Arbitrary killings cannot be condoned; there is a need for a roadmap that must develop meaningful accountability. We are also concerned with the conflict in the Middle Belt – between Fulani herders and farmers. We need a solution to that; we call on the Nigerian government to look for a shorter immediately humanitarian solution.

“The government and the international community need to prioritise the situation in the Middle Belt which appears to be spreading further South and further North-West.”

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Timothy Enietan-Matthews

Timothy is a versatile journalist, down to earth with a critical and curious mind.

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