Lagos – Nigerians in Diaspora under the umbrella body of South, Middle Belt and Northern Minorities Forum, (SMBNMF) has called on the United Nations, (UN) Secretary General, Antonio Gutters to show a keener interest in the on-going killings in some territories in Northern Nigeria.
The group presented a letter signed by its President, Sidney Imohbio to the UN Secretary in New York on Tuesday, stating that the killings appear to have prompted an armed race among the contending parties, warning that the crisis may engulf the country if the International community continues to look the other way.
SMBNMF said mass killings have become a pattern of life in territories belonging to Northern minorities adding that government officials and security operatives are taking sides.
“The SMBNMF has 24 branches in Nigeria. The facts available to us is that minorities have become targets of ethnic cleansing. No fewer that 1000 ethnic minorities have been killed between November 2019 and July 2020.
“The worst victims are women and children” the group wrote in the petition.
The group called on the UN Secretary General to appoint a Special Rapporteur to visit Nigeria and ascertain the extent of the killings for appropriate actions.
“People are being killed daily in Southern Kaduna, Plateau and territories belonging to minorities in the North. The Nigerian and Kaduna State government appear helpless. It is time for the United Nations to appoint a Special Rapporteur for Nigeria in order for the UN to stop the carnage”, the group said in the petition.
It noted that the killings represent a potential threat to global peace.
“Nigeria is the biggest country in Africa. The killings in Kaduna and other places in the country can spur arms race with each side acquiring arms to fight each other.
“This is what has been happening. With millions of people displaced including women and children, the possibility of West Africa being destabilised is real. The UN should act at the appropriate time before it is too late”, the group wrote.
It said at the local front, progressive groups are uniting to save Nigeria from violence but that local efforts need the support of the international community.
The group further stated that while Nigerians need a united front to save the country and prevent a violent breakup, the Southern Nigeria, Middle Belt and Northern Minorities its resolution call for UN interest and intervention at this time.
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