The Nigerian Government has rejected the assessment of the United Nations of the state of insecurity in the country.
The Presidency in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Friday said that the UN Rapporteur on violence in Nigeria was inadequate and does not reflect the true situation in the country, describing it as disappointing.
It said while the government admitted that violence was a challenge, it was equally addressing the issue at all levels in collaboration with state governments.
However, the Presidency argued that any report that left out intra-group violence as a major factor contributing to the general spate of insecurity was unacceptable to the government.
Shehu said, “In Benue, Taraba, Cross River states and many parts of the country, most of the casualties result from intra-group, inter-group and community violence.
“Many of the displaced persons across the nation are also victims of these conflicts.
“Therefore, we are saddened that the rapporteur did not address intra-ethnic conflicts and cattle rustling as key elements in herders/farmers conflicts.”
The Rapporteur, Agnes Callamard, in one report this month, said “Nigeria is a pressure cooker of conflicts”, warning that it posed serious danger to the rest of West Africa.
Aside from widespread killings by Boko Haram, she touched on raging banditry, killings by herdsmen over right of access to farmlands, kidnapping and alleged increasing human rights abuses by Nigerian security forces.
Callamard said, “The lack of accountability is on such a scale that pretending this is nothing short of a crisis will be a major mistake.
“If ignored, its ripple effect will spread in the sub-region given the country’s important role on the continent.”