The head of Nigeria’s human rights body, Chidi Odinkalu, has condemned the recent targeting of security personnel by armed militias, which have seen dozens of police and other operatives killed in some of the worst violence against state agents in years.
More than 100 police officers were killed in the past two weeks in Borno and Nasarawa states in fighting with militia groups, amid separate attacks that have also led to civilian deaths.
The National Human Rights Commission is leading an independent investigation into some of the killings, particularly in Baga, in Borno State, where conflicting details say between 30 and 200 people died. The killings have been blamed on government forces, but the military denies responsibility.
Mr. Odinkalu said the attacks on the police and the State Security Service agents by the Ombatse group in Nasarawa state were “totally unacceptable” and called for firm action to bring those involved in this to justice promptly.
“Law enforcement and security officers have the right to life and when this right is violated in this way; those who do it violate our collective freedoms and security as a people and must be held to account,” he said.
“No country can tolerate the killing in this way of those who put on the uniform to protect and defend us. This is totally unacceptable. We condemn unequivocally these and all acts of violence directed at law enforcement and security agents and stand with you in seeking that all those responsible should be promptly brought to justice under our laws.”
In separate condolence letters to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar; and Director-General of the SSS, Ekpenyong Ita, Mr.Odinkalu expressed hope the service and gallantry of the fallen personnel will be properly honoured and acknowledged by the country and that their families will not forgotten.