United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, says there are “red” signals regarding the issue of insecurity in Nigeria.

Callamard who spoke during a news conference in Abuja, Monday, called for swift action to end the rising spate of violence which has claimed many lives.

She emphasized that if not tackled, the effect will spread across other African nations.

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“The overall situation that I encountered in Nigeria gives rise to extreme concern. The warning signs are flashing bright red: increased numbers of attacks and killings over the last five years with a few notable exceptions.

“If ignored its ripple effect will spread throughout the sub-region, given the country’s important role in the continent,” she stated.

Nigeria has been facing multiple conflicts, ranging from Boko Haram attacks to clashes between nomadic herders and farmers, and recently, highway kidnappings.

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Callamard who has been in Nigeria since August 16 to investigate the scope of violence in the country, further condemned police and military “brutality” against citizens which she described as a “generalised system of impunity.” 

On assessment of measures adopted by government to tackle the killings, she called for the prioritization of “the rule of law” and urged it (government) to “make it part and parcel of the Nigerian system.”

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The UN rapporteur continued: “Nigeria is a pressure cooker of internal conflict. The absence of accountability is on such a scale that pretending this is not a crisis will be a major mistake.

“The increased number of people living in absolute poverty, climate change and desertification, and the increased proliferation of weapons, altogether, these are reinforcing a localised system of violence.”

She also spoke on prosecution measures, emphasizing that while there have been key court judgments, enforcement posed challenges.

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“I have also considered security repression against Shia Muslims, the indigenous people of Biafra, and against Ogoni people.

“I am hoping that the government will hear my call and demand that court orders are implemented,” Callamard stated.

Nigerian authorities were yet to respond to her comments as at the time of filing this report..


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