No fewer than 3,000 Nigerians have been killed by the Boko Haram sect and Fulani herdsmen in the first 10 months of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, a group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has said.
In a report, which it released on Monday, Intersociety put the total number of unarmed Nigerians killed during the period by the police, the military, insurgents and the herdsmen at 4,000.
The group also hinted that 80 members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) were killed by security agents during the period.
Intersociety reported that the killings took place between June 2015 and March 2016, a period of 10 months after the swearing in of Buhari.
The group said that the figure represents an average of 400 deaths per month.
The report was signed by Intersociety’s Board Chairman, Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi; the Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Programme, Obianuju Joy Igboeli as well as Chinwe Umeche, Head, Democracy and Good Governance Programme.
The report read in part: “Our latest updates are built on our previous statements on the same subject. It is also correct to say that Nigeria had since the beginning of June 2015 moved from the ballot box to killing fields, resulting in the murder of the number of citizens under reference.
“The unarmed and innocent citizens were butchered in the hands of the state and non-state killing entities. Of the 4,000 murdered citizens, coercive agents of the Buhari administration who are fully backed by President Muhammadu Buhari himself, are responsible for at least 1,000 murders, while other non-state killing entities account for at least 3,000 others. The killings under reference are unreservedly condemned.
“Majority of the state-sanctioned killings are perpetrated by the Nigerian Army led by Lt.-Gen. Turkur Buratai while the Nigeria Police Force led by IGP Solomon Arase and others, including the Nigerian Navy, account for the rest.”
“There are also strong suspicions that killings carried out by the Fulani terror group are state-sanctioned and condoned. Of the 3,000 killings by non-state violent entities, in the past 10 months, the Boko Haram terror group accounts for at least 1,820 while the Fulani terror group (erroneously called herdsmen) accounts for at least 880. The rest is perpetrated by sectarian, demographic and cult militant groups.
“Specifically, those killed by coercive agents of the Buhari administration include 705 members of the Shi’ite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), who were mass-murdered in December 2015 on the order of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Turkur Buratai.
The IMN had also in January 2016 made public names and pictures of its 705 members reportedly killed or missing in the hands of the Nigerian Army since December 12 and 14, 2015.
Intersociety continued: “Other unarmed and innocent citizens killed by coercive agents of the Buhari administration are over 80 unarmed and non-violent IPOB members and supporters killed in Onitsha in Anambra State, Aba in Abia State and Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital between August 2015 and February 2016; as well as recent killings in Rivers State by Nigerian soldiers.”
According to Intersociety: “We had in our previous updates disclosed that the Fulani terror group had between May and October 2015 killed not less than 380 unarmed and innocent rural Nigerians mostly in the former Middle Belt region of Nigeria. Most of the victims belong to the Christian religion.
“According to the Open Doors, a pressure group advocating for persecuted Christians in Northern Nigeria, in its recent 47-page report of March 4, 2016, ‘over 1.3 million Christians have fled their homes in Northern Nigeria since 2000 to escape Boko Haram and Fulani terror groups’ holocausts as well as politically-oiled sectarian violence; and 9,000-11,500 Christians have been killed and 13,000 churches closed or destroyed”.
“Thousands of Christians including girl-children have also been forcefully converted to Islam. Between January and July 2015, alone, according to the Punch Newspaper, the Fulani terror group and its violence killed a total of 621 rural citizens including 231 murdered in March 2015 alone, of which, 90 were murdered in Agatu community of Benue State. Most of them are Christians. Over half of the killings perpetrated in the seven months of 2015 took place in Benue State. In 2010, the Fulani terror group stormed Dogona Hauwa Village of Plateau State and slaughtered over 500 villagers comprising women, children and other helpless and unarmed citizens. The cult killings or violence also resulted to 140 deaths between January and July 2015.
“Between October 2015 and March 2016, the Fulani terror group also carried out further butchering of at least 500 unarmed and innocent rural citizens. The butchery includes the Agatu Massacre of February 23, 2016 in which hundreds of unarmed and innocent rural citizens were massacred as well as the January 24, 2016 killing of an Igbo Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and 30 others in Girei Local Government of Adamawa State.
“The murdered Igbo DPO (CSP Okezie Okereofor) was in-charge of the Vunokilang Police Station in the area when the butchery took place. The remaining 300 violent murders are linked to sectarian, demographic and cult militant entities; totalling 4,000 violent deaths in the past 10 months (June 2015 to March 2016) of the Buhari’s Presidency.
“According to APC authorities in Nigeria, “32 of its members were killed in recent political attacks in Rivers State.
“Further, on October 7, 2015, we disclosed that the Boko Harm terror group had between May 30, 2015 and October 7, 2015 killed 1,324 unarmed and innocent citizens. We had earlier on July 16, 2015 disclosed that over 1,000 citizens were killed in 48 days of the Buhari’s Presidency by Boko Haram and Islamist Fulani terror groups. The figure then included at least 625 Boko Haram killings and 380 killings carried out by the Fulani terror group who are erroneously called Fulani herdsmen.
“According to the Global Terrorism Index (of 2015), a total of 6, 614 citizens were killed by the Boko Haram terror group in Nigeria in 2014 alone,” Intersociety concluded.