The head of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, said on Monday that the unabated killings in some parts of the country particularly in Benue and Plateau States could be the handiwork of Boko Haram and not herdsmen as being speculated.
While advocating the establishment of state police in the country, the Executive Secretary of NHRC also said that the government might be unwilling to attribute the killings in the North-Central states to Boko Haram because it would run contrary to the official position that the insurgents had been degraded.
Ojukwu said these at his office in Abuja while addressing the concerns about the commission’s seeming inability to intervene in stopping the killings.
The concerns were raised during a ‘civil society organisations/NHRC on the state of human rights in Nigeria’.
The event was co-organised by the NHRC and the Human Rights Agenda Network, an umbrella body of the non-government organisations working together for human rights in Nigeria.
Responding to the issues raised by the representatives of the various CSOs under about 17 themes, Ojukwu decried the spate of killings in the country.
He described as a “sad situation” the seeming loss of sense of humanity in Nigeria.
He said the manner of the killings particularly in Benue and Plateau states suggested that it could be the handiwork of Boko Haram members who were dislodged from the North-East.
He also explained the possible reasons for government’s inability to declare Boko Haram as being responsible for the killings.
He said, “See what is happening in Benue and Plateau states.
“I keep telling people that this may be another Boko Haram in another guise. This is because the way these killings are being done, I am surprised that herdsmen can kill people like this.
“I am really surprised that people will just wake up and take joy in just killing human beings. For what?
“Just for you to have have your herds graze in the bush? I think there is more than meets the eye.
“But because they don’t want to maintain the narrative that Boko Haram has been degraded and defeated, they don’t want to look at that direction that this could be another Boko Haram.
“This because when the scattered them in the North-East they dispersed into small groups and entered communities and that is what we are seeing.
“The clinical way these people are handling AK47 and killing, it is difficult for me to accept and believe that these are herdsmen.
On how the security challenges of the country could be surmounted, Ojukwu called for the reform of the security architecture of the country and the amendment of the relevant laws to give room for the creation of state police.