Amnesty International says the government of Nyesom Wike is doing “little or nothing” to protect residents from violent gangs that has turned Rivers State into a killing field.
The organisation handed the indictment in a statement on Thursday, saying it is deeply concerned that the authorities are not addressing ongoing violence in the state, which claimed dozens of lives in 2019.
Citing communities like Khana and Gokana local government areas, AI said at least 60 people were killed across the state in 2019.
Osai Ojigho, director of AI Nigeria regretted that the government is still not doing enough to protect people in these communities.
According to the director, killers get away with murder as no one is being arrested or punished for these crimes.
She called on the Nigerian authorities to take more robust action to stop these attacks by investigating every clash and bringing perpetrators to justice.
Ojigho said, “The authorities have failed to bring those responsible for these horrific crimes to justice and have allowed a climate of impunity to fuel further violence.
“The government has an obligation to defend and protect the people; its failure to provide security for people in Rivers state especially in Emohua, Khana and Gokana local government areas and its failure to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these killings created an atmosphere of fear and bloodshed in the region.
“In few cases where the Nigerian security agencies did respond to the armed gang clashes, their response is always slow and inadequate. Residents informed Amnesty International that gang clashes usually last for 2 – 3 hours while security forces always arrive hours after the clashes ended.
“The Nigerian authorities must perform their duty of providing security and must ensure justice through impartial and independent investigation, and adequate reparations for the victims of this violence, including the families of those killed.