Bandits killed at least 1,126 persons across Nigeria from January to July 2020, Amnesty International has said.
In a report released by the human rights watchdog on Monday, 380 persons were also kidnapped by bandits within the same time frame.
Amnesty International said the Nigerian government has left the rural communities to their fate. Osai Ojigho, Country Director of AI, described as shameful the inadequate steps taken by security operatives to protect rural dwellers from attacks.
He also decried the failure of the security operatives to bring any culprit to book.
“The Nigerian authorities have left rural communities at the mercy of rampaging gunmen who have killed at least 1,126 people in the north of the country since January,” the report read.
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“Amnesty International has documented an alarming escalation in attacks and abductions in several states in north west and north central Nigeria since January 2020.
“Worst affected are villages in the south of Kaduna State, where armed men killed at least 366 people in multiple attacks between January and July 2020.”
“In addition to the security forces’ failure to heed warnings or respond in time to save lives, the fact that no perpetrators have been brought to justice leaves rural communities feeling completely exposed,” she added.
”The President claims he has repeatedly tasked security agencies to end the killing so that Nigerians can go to bed with their eyes closed, but clearly nothing has changed.”
The organisation said it interviewed residents in Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara states, who said they “live in fear of attacks and abductions as insecurity escalates in rural areas”.
It quoted residents as lamenting how security forces often arrive “hours after attacks have ended, even when officers have been given information about impending attacks”.
“During one attack in Unguwan Magaji in Kaduna state, security forces arrived at the scene but left when they saw the sophisticated ammunition the attackers were using. By the time they returned, at least 17 people had been killed,” the report said.
Amnesty International also bemoaned the ‘intimidation, arrest and torture’ of activists who speak against insecurity in the country.