Author Topic: 1999 - 2009: TWO MILLION NIGERIANS DIE IN VIOLENCE ? INVESTIGATION  (Read 1238 times)

Offline Prince

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Even with 10 years of uninterrupted run of democracy in Nigeria, the incidence of violent deaths is still very rampant in the country.SUNDAY PUNCH findings from across the country indicate an increasing rate of deaths arising from political assassinations, extra-judicial killings, murders, ritual killings, armed robbery, and road accidents among others.

The Civil Liberty Organisation on Saturday said that over two million lives had been lost in the last 10 years.

In Lagos, for instance, the State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit, an agency responsible for removing corpses, said an average of 200 dead bodies were picked every month on the streets, while the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights disclosed that between 10 and 15 death-related cases were reported every week to the organisation.

Curiously, while CDHR blamed the worrisome development on unemployment, desire to make ends meet as well as on the activities of politicians, the police said the majority of the cases were road accident- related.

The CLO which spoke through its acting Executive Director, Comrade Ibechukwu Ezike, decried the orgy of violence in the country, saying it portends a dangerous trend for the nation?s democracy.

He said, ?We are not yet there. There is nothing to celebrate. Life is the first clause in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and in the 1999 Constitution, but unfortunately in the country, it is not respected.?

Giving the breakdown, the CLO said in the Choba mayhem, over 200 persons were killed, while the 1999 Sharia killings took lives.

The OPC crisis, it added, resulted in the death of over 300 persons, while the MASSOB killings wasted thousands of lives.

Ezike further disclosed that cult-related crises allegedly sponsored by politicians claimed over 200 lives on campuses, even as the Plateau State crises took over 700 lives.

According to a CDHR member, Mr Malachy Ugwumadu, ?Violence has gradually become a way of life in Nigeria. The reasons for this are not far-fetched. The state of the nation?s economy primarily has gone so bad that everybody is taking to crime and violence as a means of livelihood. It is even worse today because the rate of unemployment has become so high that people who are otherwise sufficiently empowered to be engaged do not find anything to do.

?Again, research has shown that the reason for the high proliferation of violence, particularly armed violence is because some of these politicians who have much funds to throw around, procure arms and ammunition for these youngsters during elections and after polls they cannot recover them. So at the end of the day, because they have found a way in violence, they perpetuate more violence just to sustain themselves.?

The Deputy Director in the Lagos State Ministry of Health which oversees the activities of SEHMU, Dr Layeni Adeyemo, while speaking to our correspondent noted that though the number of corpses that litter streets had declined in recent time, about seven dead bodies were recovered on the streets daily.

Also, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said that over 75 per cent of the corpses on Lagos streets were victims of hit and run drivers.

He said, ?For me, the bulk of the bodies that are picked up on the streets of Lagos are, honestly, victims of road accidents most especially hit and run drivers.?

He also identified violent crimes like armed robbery, violent street brawls, ritual killings, kidnapping and ?one chance? as other leading causes of death on the streets of Lagos.

In Edo State, SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that many persons had lost their lives to the increasing spate of armed robbery, murder, cultism and related crimes.

According to the state police spokesman, Peter Ogboi, more than 35 persons lost their lives to cultism between February and March this year.

He, nonetheless, refused to release the number of persons who died violently in the last 10 years, insisting that the statistics could only be obtained through the state commissioner of police.

However from Osun State, the state police public relations officer, Olabode Akinola said the records for the period under review were not readily available.

Similarly, his counterpart in Plateau State, Mr Mohammed Lerama said such information was classified.

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« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 09:59:40 AM by Prince »

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