The sister to the Bakassi notorious Militant leader, G1 and several others are missing in Bakassi Local Government of Cross River, Human Rights lawyer says.
MR OZINKO Ozinko, a human rights lawyer has alleged that the battalion of soldiers stationed at the Bakassi local government area by the federal government is committing human rights abuses against the civilians residing in area.
He accused the soldiers of carrying out rapes, extrajudicial killings, and illegal detention, disappearances of ordinary citizens who have no part in militancy in the area which the soldiers are stationed there to combat.
“There are human rights violations currently going on in Bakassi local government area in the form of rapes, extrajudicial killings, torture and the use of means and methods of warfare that are not allowed in international humanitarian standard by the Nigerian soldiers. Rebecca, G 1’s sister arrested in Bayelsa is today nowhere to be found.”
Ozinto stated that over two hundred people have been arrested in the last two months and clamed into detention at 13 Brigade of the Nigeria Army in Calabar with several others taken to Abuja and have not been brought before any court of justice for trial.
He said the Bakassi Strike Force, the militant group operating at the Bakassi for which the soldiers were sent there have since indicated their intention to surrender their weapons and embrace peace, and have shown their commitment by unilaterally retuning the arms captured during confrontation with soldiers on the 8th of October and accordingly called on the Nigerian government to take the move for peace initiated by militant organisation
“Experience has shown that in the time of insurgency, dialogue is the best option and so flooding the place with soldiers who are committing human rights abuses is not the best option, but all parties should resort to lawful means to ensure peace returns to the area”.
According to the lawyer, the continuous arrest or killing of the ordinary people of the Bakassi or the leader of the Bakassi Strike Force, General Simply Benjamin would not end the conflict but through dialogue
“Killing G 1 today or the civilian objects in that environment is not the answer to the conflict because if you kill him today, another person will rise up to lead the group but an end to the conflict can come easily through taking proactive measures to address the immediate cause of the conflict and only dialogue can achieve that end”. Ozinto stated.
He said the civilians are entitled to protection and not abuse by their government and therefore the heavy presence of soldiers in the Bakassi is counterproductive as people are leaving the area because they are scared of the continuous arrest and killings.