Boko Haram violence: Nigeria blasts blame game after deaths

Image copyright We Are One

A report to Nigeria’s government after an attack by Boko Haram militants in the commercial hub of Lagos has blamed all parties for the killings, including the Nigerian military.

The governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode, says he will not stand idly by.

“I call on Nigerians to walk together to reconcile and ensure peace for Lagos to once again emerge the most developed city in Africa,” he wrote in a statement to the governor of the Federal Capital Territory, Tobi Baba-Ahmed.

The toll rose to 93 on Friday after the bodies of six people believed to be victims of the attack were found.

Residents told the BBC there had been intense gunfire as the militants drove through the industrial district of Lekki.

The al-Qaeda-linked Boko Haram has battled the Nigerian military for years in an effort to create an Islamic state in Africa’s most populous country.

Image copyright We Are One Image caption Twelve bombs were found in the area

But its operations have been thwarted by the Nigerian military. The BBC’s Will Ross has written extensively about the forces – including the reasoning behind a development aid package announced on Thursday.

Our correspondent said the army had run a terror surveillance system within communities, which apparently penetrated several levels of the communities in the area.

“The governor of the FCT, under similar circumstances, declared martial law and ordered civilians to assist law enforcement,” Our Correspondent said.


He added that now Nigeria’s armed forces had conceded that civilians could be sent in to help police security, the country’s government needed to follow through by talks with the affected communities.

The report said: “The commencement of dialogue and reconciliation only comes as a result of a dialogue initiated by Lagos State government.

“The truth is, through dialogue and reconciliation, the authorities can perhaps put a permanent end to these ugly killings that have plagued the state.”

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So far no one can be blamed for being behind this but we must put the blame somewhere, she told BBC Africa Check.

There has to be a firm point to hold our people responsible, she said.

She urged the government to take the issue of dialogue – some kind of reconciliation – seriously.

Nigeria: Boko Haram ‘civilian jammers’

She said that while he may not find the solution, it would help the people to bring the killings to an end, especially since many of them were from the poor communities where the attacks have taken place.

The Nigerian authorities must step in and fix this, she said.

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Several of the reports give different information and sometimes establish counter-claims that cannot be reconciled.

The Associated Press (AP) notes: “The story is based on interviews with three Lagos residents who saw the bodies of victims and some who were injured.”

The Nigerian government’s commission later said that around 75 per cent of the people killed were shot in the head, citing other sources.

There were 125 “liquidated” in bodies of those injured, the Defence Headquarters said.

The latest violence came days after no less than 20,000 people turned out in the coastal city of Lagos to demand justice for around 100 people killed in a hurricane last month.

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