Insecurity in Rivers: 46 Die in Extra Judicial Murders in April
As insecurity continues to escalate in Rivers State, 46 persons have reportedly died across the state in extra judicial killings and gang murders.
This was contained in a report produced and made public by a non-governmental organisation, ‘We The People,’ in conjunction with the Rivers Civil Society Organizations (RIVSCO).
According to the report, 46 deaths, 16 cases were extra-judicial murders while the rest died through gang murders and other criminal circumstances.
Presenting the report tagged ‘Incidents of Atrocity in Rivers State in April 2019,’ Ken Henshaw of ‘We The People’ and Enefaa Georgewill of RIVSCO, co-signatories to the report, said that the coalition as a people-centered organization became concerned by the emerging negative scenario and decided to initiate the process of documenting the cases.
“Let me quickly say that we take no pride in producing this report. No citizen should have to endure the torture of chronicling unnecessary and atrocious deaths, listening to bereaved families and loves ones who are searching for answers,” the report said.
It went on; “This report shows that the wave of extra judicial killings in Rivers State has reached frightening levels in the month of April. From gang murders to law enforcement slaughter of citizens, atrocious acts by state and non-state actors have become routine and familiar. An atmosphere of shock and fright has engulfed the state, with residents anticipating the next gory tale of murder occurring on near daily basis.
“In the month of April, ‘We The People’ tracked and documented sixteen cases of extra-judicial murders. Of these, two were perpetrated by state actors. In all, forty-six killings were documented. As much as possible, we have made deliberate efforts to go beyond the alarming headlines and document the personalities of these citizens and the circumstances of their deaths. For too long, the demand for accountability for atrocious killings in Nigeria have been weakened by lack of any real information on the victims. It seems, sadly, that numbers and statistics have replaced the value of life and need to account for every soul we lose in murderous circumstances.”
The report blamed the Nigerian Police and other security agencies for being ill-equipped and unwilling to deal with the rising atrocities in Rivers State, noting that not only is the country under policed, but “we note with alarm that even the insufficient policemen in the country have been privatised to the extent that private individuals and government officials appropriate them for their individual security.”
They demanded the immediate sacking of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu for lack of capacity to effectively handle the security of the country, saying that a chief of police of a nation who threw up his hands in helplessness on management of insecurity should lose his job immediately.
They also demanded that the police should immediately develop a register of all citizens killed in atrocious circumstances and commence investigations into their deaths.
“We demand that policemen attached to VIPs be withdrawn and channelled to providing security equally for all citizens. It is discrimination for a publicly maintained law enforcement officer to serve only the interest of some person at the detriment of the rest,” they further demanded, among other things.