Plateau Carnage: Gunmen Operated Unchallenged for Over 48-Hours, Says Amnesty International

Global Watchdog, Amnesty International has requested a probe into the latest killing in Plateau State, which cost over 140 souls, claiming the killer-gunmen operated unhindered for over 48 hours.

It said in a statement that the Nigerian authorities must investigate the inexcusable security lapses that allowed the horrific killing of over 140 people by gunmen across over 20 villages in Bokkos and parts of the Barkin-Ladi local government area of Plateau State.

It further claimed: “our investigation shows that the gunmen were on a rampage of killing and destruction for more than 48 hours, moving from one village to another. Apart from Bokkos local government area, where the attacks started and lasted hours, the gunmen also crossed into Barkin Ladi local government area and killed dozens of people in Hurum, Daruwat, Maiyanga, and NTV villages.”

Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, said the killing was unacceptable, demanding that President Bola Tinubu set up an impartial, independent, and effective panel to investigate the apparent failure of security agencies to halt the bloodshed hours after villages that were attacked were gathering dead bodies of those killed and conveying those injured to hospitals.

“Patterns of recent deadly attacks on the rural areas of Plateau State clearly show that the Nigerian authorities have left these communities at the mercy of rampaging gunmen. Nigerian authorities’ failure to tame the tide of this violence is costing people’s lives and livelihoods, and without immediate action, many more lives may be lost,” he alleged.

The global body recalled the promise of President Bola Tinubu to reverse the ugly trend under past administrations but doubted if the promise had translated into a substantial result.

“Although President Bola Tinubu promised to put in place new ways of addressing increasing insecurity in the country, the attacks in Plateau State and recently in some parts of Benue, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Katsina State show that protecting lives and property is low on the list of the government’s priorities,” AI alleged, adding “issuing statements condemning the attacks is not enough, and genuine commitment to protecting the people must be demonstrated by ensuring justice.”.

“The brazen failure of the authorities to protect the people of Nigeria is gradually becoming the ‘norm.’ President Bola Tinubu said he will enact security measures in response to these attacks, but these promises have—so far—proven to be empty,” Sanusi knocked on the President.

Amnesty International also reminded the government of its fundamental responsibility to the people, noting that “the Nigerian authorities are obliged under international human rights law, regional human rights treaties, and Nigeria’s constitution to protect the human rights of all people without discrimination—and that includes the right to life.

“Amnesty International is calling on Nigerian authorities to independently investigate all the Plateau attacks and ensure accountability by bringing the perpetrators to justice. The spread of these killings is evidence of the failure of authorities to protect the people. The inability of authorities to bring attackers to justice is fuelling impunity,” it charged.