Amaechi-Wike

94 killed, 93 injured, N853m property destroyed in political violence

94 killed, 93 injured, N853m property destroyed in political violence

While N53, 195,350 worth of properties were reportedly destroyed in Etche local government area, Ogba-Egbema recorded destruction to property estimated at N32, 170,000.

By Gbenga Bada

No fewer than 95 cases of killings were reported to the Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate politically motivated killings and damage to property in Rivers before, during and after the 2015 general elections.

According to a report by Daily Trust, the final report of the Commission of Inquiry came out with startling revelations which showed the killings occurred between November 15, 2014 and April 11 2015 when the elections were held.

Established by ex-Governor, Rotimi Amaechi on April 7, 2015 and chaired by Professor Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, an overview of the commission’s findings showed an average of 19 killings per month during the five months under review.

Among its terms of reference the seven-member commission further revealed that 93 cases of injuries were recorded during the period out of which 12 representing 13 percent occurred before the election period while 81 injuries representing 87 percent of cases took place during the election period.

Similarly the inquiry received evidence of 83 incidents of destruction of property, including acts of vandalism or arson on both movable and immovable property. Out of this number, six incidents representing seven percent occurred before the election while 77 incidents representing 93 percent occurred during the election.

‘In total 275 different violations involving killings, injuries to persons or destruction were reported to the inquiry. As proportions of this total, killing constitute 35 percent while injuries and destruction of property constitute 34 percent and 31 percent respectively,’ the report said.

An assessment of the properties destroyed during the period under review as contained in the report showed that properties valued at N853, 635.50 were destroyed in two flash point local government areas namely Etche and Ogba-Egbema.

While N53, 195,350 worth of properties were reportedly destroyed in Etche local government area, Ogba-Egbema recorded destruction to property estimated at N32, 170,000.

The report, according to Daily Trust, further indicated that the commission received ample evidence to the effect that security agencies were unwilling or unable to attend to incidents of political violence.

The attitude of the security agencies that the inquiry encountered was largely defensive, tending towards avoidance of the subject. This corroborated the perception of institutional indifference, reluctance or avoidance as reported by most witnesses,‘ the report said.

Furthermore, incidents of political violence involving violence or rape were not directed to the inquiry due to perceived fear of stigma on the part of victims.

Read: Rivers women recount gruesome killing of their husbands by political thugs

However, the commission said the testimony brought before it by the state commissioner for social welfare and rehabilitations, Joe Philips Poroma revealed that a high incidence of sexual trauma affecting young women and girls in the state were recorded with an average daily rate of 10 cases of rape which increased during the 2015 general elections.

Source: pulse.ng

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