The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) has called on the United Nations to investigate the mass killings in Baga, Borno State by troops of three of its Member States in order to prevent a cover up by the Nigerian state.
In a statement signed by its Executive Chairman, Nelson Ekujumi, CPPM described as “highly irresponsible and barbaric” the lies of the Nigerian military authorities to explain away the massacre.
“We are at a loss and find it highly irresponsible and barbaric the lying attempt of the Nigerian military authorities to explain how they and their foreign collaborators killed over 185 innocent human lives and uncountable casualties, destroyed about 2000 houses, 62 vehicles and 486 motorcycles in their crude methods of confronting terrorists in this modern age of high tech intelligence,” the statement said.
It drew attention to how, since the emergence of Nigeria’s nascent democracy in 1999, the state has been militarized, resulting in the unlawful and illegal violations of the citizens right to life and liberty by the security agencies via their crude method of policing.
“The insecurity level in the country has been further worsened by the emergence of the Boko Haram group in the North through which the Nigerian state via the military have flagrantly violated the fundamental human rights of Nigerians by embarking on genocide through militarization of the entire area,” CPPM said, adding that it has become so bad that all the military needs to justify its mass killings is to label its victims as Boko Haram members even if it’s just an altercation between two warring parties.
The group stressed that peace can only be achieved through dialogue, consultation and compromise, and warned that the militarization of Nigeria’s nascent democracy in the pursuit of peace by the present administration portends grave danger unless a meaningful process of dialogue in tandem with democratic norms are put in place as in the case of the Niger Delta struggle.
“The Nigerian state via its military lack of respect for international law which emphasizes the sanctity of human lives must be condemned by all lovers of peace as members of one civilized human community,” CPPM declared. “This much was emphasized only recently by the judicial verdict against the Nigerian state with regards to the genocide visited on Odi community in Bayelsa state by the Obasanjo administration from among numerous ones.”
It called on the United Nations to ensure that the people of Baga in particular, and Nigerians in general, get justice by making sure that the perpetrators of this genocide are brought to book for crimes against humanity at the world court.
It also asked the United Nations to demand the immediate withdrawal of the Multi National Joint task force from the zone as well as the suspension from military activities of its commander, General Austin Edokpaye, pending the findings of its investigative body.
“We are as well calling on the United Nations (UN) to declare Baga town a humanitarian disaster zone and mobilize men and resources to offer relief and trauma counseling to the displaced, traumatized, injured and ruined inhabitants of the town,” the statement said, and to demand that the Nigerian government give befitting burial to victims of the genocide.