A report released by the Nigeria Watch Project says Lagos recorded 837 violent death in 2016. The report is the 6th Annual Report on lethal violence in Nigeria covers the period between 1 January and 31 December 2016. It has been written at the University of Ibadan, with the support of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) and the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA-Nigeria). “In Lagos in 2016, it recorded 837 violent deaths, including 460 resulting from various criminal incidents. In contrast, the police recorded 246 murders, or a low rate of 2.7 homicides for 100,000 people as per the 2006 census, against a national average of 20 according to UNODC. Anyone walking in the streets of Lagos would thus be quite surprised to learn that the city is almost as safe as Stockholm in Sweden or Geneva in Switzerland, two countries that record homicide rates equivalent to 2 homicides for 100,000 people,” the report said. The report added that although the statistics for fatalities in Lagos and Rivers were quite similar, the former is far more prone to criminal activities than the latter, disclosing that Lagos recorded 235 events, while Rivers listed just 108 incidents in 2016. “Also, Lagos State recorded the highest number of fatalities, 194 in road mishaps. The result is rather intriguing because there is no evidence to show that Rivers State has a better road infrastructure than Abuja and Lagos. Perhaps the explanation lies in the fact that vehicle pressures on Lagos and Abuja seem to be more intense. “In the case of Lagos, the ongoing road construction on the Lagos–Ibadan expressway may be a factor. A major aspect of crime in Rivers was cult violence, which killed 254 people, as against 93 in Lagos and 2 in Abuja. Most of the cult killings were perpetrated by gangs such as the Icelanders, Greenlanders, and Deygbam. The killings occurred in 11 LGAs, especially in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni (80 deaths), Ahoada East (59), Emuoha (51), and Ikwerre (26). “The problem hinges on the fact that politicians reportedly use cultist groups to harass opposition parties. The overall assessment of security as a combination of both crime incidents and road accidents shows that Rivers is more unsafe than Lagos and Abuja. However, the situation in these states is not comparable with Borno State, which records 56.2 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants,” the report revealed. The report further revealed that in 2016, the main causes of violence in Nigeria in order of number of fatalities were crime (4,127), political conflict (3,502), religious violence (3,361), and accidents including road crashes (2,618).
As its central message on this year's World Human Rights Day, a frontline civil Rights and Non-Governmental organisation- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the Federal government of Nigeria and the National Assembly to transparently carry out an investigation into allegations of high handedness and extralegal killings of unarmed members of the pro-self determination group-Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) shortly before it was hurriedly proscribed during the controversial operation python dance two by soldiers drafted to the South East of Nigeria. In a statement against the backdrop of the commemoration of the year 2017 World Human Rights Day and the Tenth anniversary of the founding of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), the Rights group condemned the widespread conspiratorial silence by the officials of the current administration to the massive and large scale atrocities and massive human rights violations committed by the operatives and officers of the Nigeria Army during the month-long operation python dance two in the South East of Nigeria during which scores of civilians were killed through coordinated extralegal executions carried out by the armed security forces and the public torture of dozens of civilians suspected to be members of the now proscribed Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB). In a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA condemned the Federal government of Nigeria and the leadership of the Nigerian National Assembly for apparently failing to carry out proper; thorough and forensic human rights investigation with the objectives of naming, shaming, prosecuting and legally sanctioning the culprits who inflicted pains and carried out illegal executions of civilians who were completely unarmed and whose only crime was that they belonged to the Indigenous peoples of Biafra IPOB which as at the time of these widespread atrocities wasn't proscribed. HURIWA affirmed that the nation can't make any claim of subscribing to the tenets and provisions of the Universal Declarations of HUMAN RIGHTS when the supposed law enforcement agencies like the security forces including the Police are neck deep in carrying out large scale atrocities of gross human rights abuses including committing crimes against humanity such as massive extralegal executions of unarmed protesters and civilians whose only crime was that they were canvassing for self determination through constitutional means. The Rights group tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to provide clear and unambiguous information on the physical whereabouts of the Director of Indigenous peoples of Biafra IPOB Mr Nnamdi Kanu whose home was attacked and ransacked by armed security forces during the controversial military deployment that undertook the operation python dance two in the South East of Nigeria. HURIWA said the conspiratorial silence of government over these allegations of gross violations of human rights in the South East of Nigeria amounted to the institutionalisation of impunity. HURIWA carpeted the United Nations Human Rights Council; the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for failing to speak out against the widespread abuses of the human rights of South Eastern Nigerians. HURIWA condemns the total disobedience of binding Court orders which ordered the release of erstwhile National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki and the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria Sheikh Ibrahim ElZaczacky who have spent two years in illegal detention. "Mr President must tell Nigerians where the leader of IPOB is since his home was bombarded by the armed security forces on his instructions. The Nigerian State must provide accountability for the activities of the armed security forces in the South East of Nigeria during the controversial military deployment." Conversely, the Rights group said the Federal government must also carry out comprehensive reforms of the Nigeria Police force which the group argued has become a criminal syndicate used by the hierarchy to perpetrate all sorts of organised and sophisticated crimes including armed robberies, grandscale extortion racketeering, commercialisation of weapons to hoodlums,bribery and massive corruption. HURIWA stated that: "The nation-wide advocacy for the abolition of SARS by the police is in order. SARS is the police unit that has over the years committed gross human rights violations including the extralegal killings of hundreds of detainees in the various police detention facilities in the Country. This same so called special anti-robbery squad of the Nigeria police was responsible for the killing of over three dozen youths whose fresh corpes were discovered in Awka Anambra state in a River. SARS have carried out atrocities in Lagos and Rivers States including organised crime and the harassment of youngsters." "We use this auspicious occasion of the World's Human Rights Day to call on the Federal government to dismantle the notorious police roadblocks in the South East of Nigeria which are used to extort money from commercial drivers and in a lot of cases these triggar happy rogue police operatives have been found committing extralegal executions of commercial drivers and innocent road users. We condemn this military and police occupation of the South East of Nigeria and to stop forthwith the Widespread human rights violations". HURIWA stated thus: " As a civil society group we subscribe to the opinions of experts that the responsibility of national governments to uphold and implement international human rights standards is not in doubt. International human rights law is a subset of public international law, and as such, it engages the commitment of nation states. The applicability of international human rights treaties to ratifying states is not controversial and there is no ambiguity about the general principle that governments are accountable for human rights standards". HURIWA reminds the Nigerian state of what human rights scholars have determined to be the obligations of government to enforce human rights provisions thus:"This question has been considered in different contexts, including the International Law Commission’s (ILC) work on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts and in conjunction with implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights." "We are aware that over the past two decades a consensus has emerged that with respect to international human rights states have a threefold responsibility: to respect, to protect, and to fulfill their obligations. As expounded by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights.The obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses.The obligation to fulfill means that States must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights."
The Senator representing Anambra North in the National Assembly, Senator Stella Oduah, has called on all South Easterners to plough some of their investments back home to develop the region. With particular reference to indigenes of Anambra State, the former Aviation Minister said any wealthy ‘Anambarian’ who refuse to invest in the region, is not only doing a disservice to the region in general but the state in particular. Speaking in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, Oduah said that according to a World Bank definition which she aligned with, one could only be said to be wealthy if the people around such individual feel and benefit from the wealth. Championing the campaign tagged “Aku Lue Uno” (which means ‘The wealth should reach home’), the senator said that Anambra State and indeed the South East had very wealthy people who could develop the region if they invested their wealth back home. She explained that ‘Aku Lue Uno’ is a prosperity sharing gospel that the South East must adopt for their well being as well as the growth and development of the area. She therefore called on all South Easterners especially, those from Anambra, to bring back some of their wealth to develop the region. She however stressed that it was not a call for all investment in other regions to be collapsed adding that the Federal Government should also be mindful of its responsibility to the region. “Aku Lue Uno is a concept that encourages indigenes to think of their homes in their investments. “It is not just the right thing to do, it is economically viable to invest in our homes, particularly for those from the South East and Anambra in particular. “We have the enabling community, we have the population and current government initiatives have provided enabling environment. so what we need is to plough back our investment, our commercial ability. “What we have outside the South East zone should be replicated in the zone, we need to start domesticating our investments so we can help our people. “We would help in improving the poverty level, we will help in creating jobs, we would help in growing our domestic economy. Most importantly our people will feel that accomplishment we have. “In doing so, we would be doing what is termed shared prosperity, in doing so we are doing what is termed Aku Lue Uno,” she said. Itemising the magnitude of wealth controlled by Igbos, particularly those from Anambra, Oduah said that according to statistics, one out of every four industries in Nigeria belonged to an individual from Anambra and one out of every importer or exporter is from Anambra. “We also know that one out of every five successful businessman or woman is from Anambra. “Can you imagine the magnitude of that investment if we can just channel just 10 percent of that home? “We would create massive employment, we would create massive mentorship for the young ones and we would have a society that will be the envy of all. “So my advocacy is to encourage all Anambarians, all South Easterners to think backwards (home) on their investments. “I am not saying uproot your industries, I am saying start divesting and think homewards so that our people can feel your impact and so that our people can grow. “It is only by doing that that you can in all conscience say that you are a wealthy man because it is only by doing that that you can say yes I am an Igbo man and I have made it. “In my book you haven’t made it if you haven’t invested what you have invested outside in your community. Any wealth that does not reach home is a lost wealth as far as I am concerned and it is a useless one. “There must be semblance of that in your state, we must help the state to grow, we must help our people to grow, we must share our prosperity, we must be involved in Aku Lue Uno concept,” she said. She admonished South Easters not to only show their wealth by building mansions or showing off when they organise or are invited to events. Speaking on profitability Oduah said that investing in the region would also be profitable, adding that there is an enabling environment and access to markets. She argued that Anmabra State is safer than Lagos State, pointing out that the international airport in Enugu provides access to international markets. She added that the state is putting enabling environment for its people to come and invest, stressing that there are tax incentives in place to encourage investments. “Most importantly there is security: we have better security in Anambra than you have in Lagos. In Anambra you do not have violence like you have in Lagos. “We have lacuna on infrastructure; rail, airports and so on, but then the state is in joint venture to build the cargo airport. “Above all we have in Enugu, Enugu has an international market so you can export. The Federal Government needs to put inland container terminal in Onitsha so that importers can from Onitsha get their goods without having to go to Lagos or Port Harcourt. “When that happens we have access to international markets. You would be amazed at the number of vehicles that go to other African markets from Onitsha. “We are currently re-exporting in an informal market, that should be formalised. Alaba and other markets in Lagos are our people’s market. We should have a huge portion of that domesticated in Onitsha”.