The United States (US) Secretary of State,who is currently on official visit toNigeria has been called upon to pressure the Nigeria Government to address increasingly deadly violence in northern and central Nigeria.
This clarion call was made by the Africa Director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), Daniel Bekele in a recent release adding that much of the violence has been initiated by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
He stated Nigeria is facing a surge of violence and lawlessness that has blighted the lives of thousands of Nigerians and that Nigeria’s leaders need to confront this violence, whether committed by Boko Haram or the country’s security forces.
According to Bekele, the attacks by Boko Haram have left more than 1,400 people dead in northern and central Nigeria since 2010. The armed group has targeted police and other government security agents, Christians and churches, and Muslims who are critical of the group or perceived as collaborating with the government.
He said that Nigeria’s main anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has since 2005 filed corruption charges against 35 nationally prominent political figures, including 20 former state governors.
“Although the commission has secured four convictions of high-level officials, they faced relatively little or no prison time. No senior political figure in Nigeria is currently serving prison time for corruption,” he stated.