Kaduna State, Zamfara State, and Borno states
“South-East most peaceful zone, North-West deadliest”
By Clifford Ndujihe, Politics Editor
AS flames of violence and other forms of lives guzzling insecurity flicker in many parts of the country, Nigeria has literally become a killing field.
In the first six weeks of 2021, lives of no fewer than 1,525 persons have been wasted across the country, Vanguard’s investigation, and data obtained from the Nigeria Security Tracker, NST, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa programme, have shown.
The Nigeria Security Tracker tracks violence that is both causal and symptomatic of Nigeria’s political instability and citizen alienation. The data are based on weekly surveys of Nigerian and international media. The 1,525-death figure, which is conservative, covers only reported cases arising from the Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, herdsmen crisis, kidnapping, communal and cult clashes, armed robbery, and brutality of security agents among others.
Many security breaches are not reported. It is also difficult to tell the number of abducted victims who die in captivity as unconfirmed reports put the number of those in various kidnap dens across the country at over 5000.
The 1,525 deaths are about half of the 3,188 lives lost between January and December 2019, according to a report by Global Rights. It is also four times the 348 people killed in violent attacks across Nigeria in December 2020, as reported by a non-governmental organisation, Nigeria Mourns. Currently, Nigeria is the third country most impacted by terrorism, going by the Global Terrorism Index 2020 after Afghanistan and Libya.
The 2020 terrorism index report said though total deaths from terrorism in Nigeria fell to 1,245 in 2019, a 39 per cent decrease from the prior year, terror-related incidents also fell by 27 per cent, marking the lowest level of terrorist violence in Nigeria since 2011. Boko Haram, Nigeria’s deadliest terrorist group, recorded an increase in terrorist activity mainly targeted at civilians by 25 per cent from the prior year.
Additionally, Fulani extremists were responsible for 26 per cent of terror-related deaths in Nigeria at 325 fatalities. The herdsmen crisis is one of the reasons the county is boiling now following prevailing incidents in many southern states especially Oyo, Ondo and Ogun.
Deaths in the states
Of the country’s 36 states, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, only three had zero reported deaths linked to insecurity. The states are Bayelsa, Bauchi, and Kebbi.
The most deadly states are Kaduna (409), Zamfara (267) and Borno (257). Kaduna and Zamfara are the hotbeds of banditry ravaging the North-West zone of the country while Borno is the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency.
States that recorded high deaths include: Yobe (76), Niger (73), Delta (46), Ebonyi (43), Katsina (41), Oyo (37), Plateau (31), Lagos (26), Rivers (24), Imo (23), Ogun (20), and Ondo (20). Others are Nasarawa (16), Cross River (15), Benue (12), Anambra (11), Akwa Ibom (11), Kogi (11), Kwara (, Taraba (, Osun (, Abia (7), Edo (7), Sokoto (5), Adamawa (4), FCT Abuja (3), Kano (2), Gombe (1), Enugu (1), and Jigawa (1).
According to the data, the South-East zone is the most peaceful zone with 85 reported deaths followed by the South-South, which had 103 deaths, and South-West, 112 deaths. Conversely, the North-West is the deadliest zone with 724 deaths, followed by its flanking North-East, which witnessed no fewer than 346 deaths and North-Central that had 155 deaths.
In the South-East, Ebonyi on account of the Effium-Ezza communal crisis recorded most deaths followed by Imo, which tally was spiked by the clashes between security forces and the Eastern Security Network, ESN, of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, in Orlu.
In the South-West, Oyo State was on the front burner due to the herdsmen and locals’ crisis in Ibarapa as well as Amotekun brushes with youths. Cult-related killings and other crimes took the tally of deaths in Lagos to 26. In the South-South, Delta and Rivers were on the front-burner due to pirates’ activities in Rivers; and cult clashes and armed robbery-related killings in Delta.
In sum, the three southern zones accounted for 300 or 18.19 per cent of the 1,525 deaths. The northern zones recorded 1,225 or 81.91 per cent of the tallied deaths.
A host of Nigerian leaders have decried the rising waves of insecurity in the country and tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on urgent action. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said on February 10 that Nigeria’s leaders had failed and must come together irrespective of political differences to save the country.
He said: “Every time a citizen going about his business is killed or kidnapped, losses his property or livelihood, we have failed in our obligations.”
Senators, on the same day, spoke in like manner, saying that Nigeria was becoming a failed state on account of insecurity and asked President Buhari to issue an executive order on the need to flush out criminal herders.
Indeed, Nigeria’s last military Head of State and Chairman of the National Peace Committee, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd), warned on Wednesday that Nigeria is on the highway to disintegration unless insecurity is decisively tackled. “In the last two weeks or so, tension has been growing in the country and the embers of disunity, anarchy and disintegration are spreading fast and if care is not taken, this might lead us to a point of no return,” he warned.
How 1,525 lives were wasted in six weeks
January 1: Seven farmers were killed by bandits in Mashegu LGA of Niger State. Many were left injured during the attack on the farmers in their farms in Babban Rami.
January 1: A 20-year old woman, Mrs. Suwaiba Shuaibu, lured and stabbed her teenage rival, Miss Aisha Kabir, 17, to death because her husband proposed to marry Aisha.
January 2: Unknown men killed Quadri Okunola, popularly called Kudeti, a father of three at Macaulay/Odudu, along Igbogbo/ Bayeku road, Ikorodu, Lagos.
January 2: One person was killed in Osogbo, Osun State, when cult groups clashed during a carnival party at Isale-Osun area of the town.
January 2: Bandits killed a chief executive officer of a filling station and his two cousins in Idere, Ibarapa North LGA, Oyo State.
January 2: Bandits invaded Kawaran Rafiu village in Igabi LGA of Kaduna State and killed the chief Imam of the village, Danleeman Isah. Also killed was the Sarkin Yaki of Godogodo, Yohanna Abu.
January 2: Bandits killed 19 persons in Giwa, Kaduna.
January 2: Gunmen killed three and kidnapped two in Ibarapa, Oyo.
January 2: Robbers killed two civilians and police officers killed two robbers in Ughelli, Delta.
January 2: Military airstrikes killed “several” Boko Haram militants at two separate locations (estimated at 20) in Bama, Borno State.
January 3: Suspected internet fraudsters killed a girl, 18, in a hotel at Owa community in Ika North LGA of Delta State
January 3: No fewer than 19 people were killed in a two-day attack in Kaduna. Twelve of the victims were indigenes of Kaya, Gura LGA.
January 3: Boko Haram killed six soldiers and one civilian in Chibok, Borno.
January 3: Bandits killed nine in Birnin-Gwari, Kaduna State.
January 4: Nigerian troops killed “several” bandits estimated at 20 in Birnin-Gwari, Giwa, Igabi, and Chikun LGAs in Kaduna.
January 4: Four people were shot while properties worth millions of naira were destroyed in a bloody violence in some parts of Ibadan, Oyo State.
January 4: Police men killed two suspected members of a three man robbery gang in Ughelli, Delta State.
January 4: Bandits killed nine people including three infants in Zankoro, Kaduna State.
January 4: Two passengers were killed and many others were declared missing following an attack on two commercial boats on Bonny Waterways, Rivers State
January 5: Gunmen killed one and kidnapped 20 in Toto, Nassarawa.
January 5: Boko Haram attacked Askira/Uba, Borno but were repelled by military airstrikes that killed “several” (estimated at 10) insurgents.
January 5: Pirates killed two in Bonny, Rivers.
January 5: Gunmen killed former education secretary of Nasarawa local government, Malawi Salisu at Mungi sharp corner, Buga Gwari, Gadabuke, Toto local council. The hoodlums abducted no fewer than 20 people travelling in three vehicles and took them into the bush. Salihu was among those abducted. His body was later found in the bush near the road.
January 6: Bandits killed a police man and kidnapped five others in attacks in Shiroro and Raji local governments in Niger State
January 6: Gombe state police command killed a kidnap suspect identified as Ustas during gunshot exchange with police men at Pinga, Gombe
January 6: Bandits killed four in Chikun, Kaduna.
January 6: Amotekun killed three civilians in Ibarapa, Oyo.
January 6: Boko Haram killed commuters (no number given, estimated at 10) in Nganzai, Borno.
January 6: Military airstrikes killed “several” (estimated at 10) Boko Haram militants in Damboa, Borno.
January 6: Four persons reportedly lost their lives during inter-communal conflict between Abankang and Alok communities in Ikom LGA, Cross River State.
January 7: Gunmen abducted a traveller and killed his driver along Ise/Isua/Akoko Highway in Ondo State.
January 7 Bandits attacked Katarma village in Chikun local Government, Kaduna, killed four persons and kidnapped many women.
January 7: Three persons were feared dead during a bloody clash between youths and Amotekun operatives at Tapa, Oyo State
January 7: A mob set ablaze a suspected ritualist said to be in possession of a human heart at Orile, Lagos.
January 8: Soldiers killed five civilians during a clash in Baruten, Kwara.
January 8: The Nigeria Customs Service killed three commercial drivers at a checkpoint in Baruten, Kwara State.
January 8: Gunmen attacked a police station and killed three police officers in Ezza South, Ebonyi.
January 8: Two passengers were killed in a pirate attack on two commercial boats around Dema Abbey Community on Bonny waterways
January 9: Amotekun operatives killed seven in Ibarapa North, Oyo.
January 9: Gunmen killed three in Kauru, Kaduna.
January 9: 28 Boko Haram militants and 13 soldiers were killed during a clash in Gujba, Yobe; in a separate incident, Nigerian soldiers killed another 30 militants in Gujba.
January 9: Nigerian troops killed 50 bandits in Kaura-Namoda, Zamfara.
January 9: Gunmen killed one person while attempting to snatch his vehicle at the ever-busy Zoo Road in Kano Metropolis.
January 10: Gunmen killed three mobile police officers in Ughelli North, Delta.
January 10: Gunmen killed two in Riyom, Plateau.
January 10: Nigerian troops killed five bandits and lost one soldier in Faskari, Katsina.
January 10: Three suspected thieves were burnt at different locations in Calabar, Cross River State.
January 10: A man died after his estranged lover bathed him with petrol and set him on fire in Makurdi, Benue State.
January 10: Gunmen opened fire on a couple, killing the lady in the process at Ekuigbo, Ethiope, Delta State.
January 11: Five soldiers and six Boko Haram militants were killed during a clash in Damboa, Borno.
January 11: Gunmen killed a councillorship candidate and kidnapped two others in Oshimili South, Delta.
January 11:A Boko Haram suicide bombers killed himself and six Nigerian soldiers in Damboa, Borno.
January 11: A female corps member, Chidimma Odume, macheted and killed her lover at Abak Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
January 11: Inter-communal clash between the people of Edondon and Ohumuruket in Obubra LGA, Cross River claimed no fewer than four lives
January11: Two people were feared dead, while three others were missing after suspected pirates attacked two passenger boats along the coastal waters of Aru-Gbanaama and Polokiri in Bonny LGA of Rivers State.
January 12: Gunmen killed two in Kauru, Kaduna.
January 12: Military airstrikes killed “several” (estimated at 10) Boko Haram insurgents in Kaga, Borno.
January 12: Suspected land grabbers killed four in Ikorodu, Lagos.
January 12: Security forces killed four bandits in Shiroro, Niger State.
January 12: Two villagers were killed in an ambush by gunmen between Bakin Kogi and Narido village in Kauru LGA of Kaduna State
January 10-January 12: Cult clashes resulted in 14 deaths in Ikorodu, Lagos.
January 12: At least five persons reportedly shot dead in a renewed clash between the people of Emede and Igbide clans in Isoko South LGA, Delta.
January 12: Mr. Obiezu, the younger brother to Imo State Accountant General, Valentine Obiezu, was killed after failed attempt to kidnap him at his village, Akatta, Oru East LGA.
January 12: The remains of a farmer, Wole Agbola, who was abducted, was discovered in the bush in Aba-Odo, Oyo State a few kilometres from where he was abducted after his family paid N2million ransom.
January 12: A soldier and 10 bandits were killed in a clash between troops and bandits at various locations in Katsina. A clash at Batsari LGA claimed five bandits, while another five went down at Maigora, Faskari LGA.
January 13: Bandits killed two in Igabi, Kaduna.
January 13: An Amotekun operative killed one civilian in Ibadan North, Oyo.
January 13: Military airstrikes killed “several” (estimated at 10) Boko Haram militants in Konduga, Borno.
January 13: Suspected herders killed two at Iniongwu village in Guma LGA, Benue State.
January: Robbers shot and killed Pastor Kelvin Orumor, the General Overseer of Kingdom Advancement Christian Centre, at Edjeba area of Warri, Delta State.
January 14: Bandits killed two farmers at Chikaji Village in Igabi LGA, Kaduna.
January 14: Military airstrikes killed “several” (estimated at 10) Boko Haram insurgents in Bama, Borno.
January 14: Boko Haram landmines killed five soldiers in Chibok, Borno.
January 14: Nigerian troops killed “scores” (estimated at 40) of bandits in Birnin-Gwari, Kaduna.
January 14 Officials of DSS beat a policeman, Fawale Rauf, 33, to death at River Side area of Osogbo, Osun State.
January 15: Communal violence led to two deaths in Ibarapa North, Oyo.
January 15: Nigerian troops killed “scores” (estimated at 40) of Boko Haram militants in Marte, Borno.
January 15: Bandits killed five police officers and kidnapped thirteen others in Birnin-Gwari, Kaduna.
January 16: Bandits killed one in Igabi LGA, three in Chikun LGA, and one in Giwa LGA in Kaduna.
January 16: Soldiers killed five civilians, and one soldier was killed in retaliation in Maiduguri, Borno.
January 16: Bandits killed a livestock guard and shot NSCDC officer in Makurdi, Benue
January 16: Communal violence led to two deaths in Anambra East, Anambra.
January 16 Deputy Registrar of FUTA, Dr. Amos Arijesuyo died from gunshot wounds he sustained after he was attacked by gunmen along Ilesa-Akure Highway while returning to Akure from Ibadan.
January 16: Two were killed and scores injured in a renewed crisis between Umueri and Aguleri communities of Anambra State.
January 17: Kidnappers killed a man, Elliot Ofa and kidnapped three others at Ethiope West LGA, Delta State.
January 17: Bandits killed 10 during an attack on Janbako, a community in Maradun LGA, Zamfara State.
January 17: Bandits killed five including an 80-year old woman and a village head in separate attacks on two villages of Chikun as well as travellers in Giwa LGA of Kaduna State.
January 17: Five riot policemen were killed in an ambush on the highway in Kaduna State.
January 17: 24 people were killed as bandits and cultists went on rampage in Borno, Benue, Cross River and Niger. A soldier and five civilians died in a clash in Maiduguri. Late Gana’s loyalists attacked a Benue community and killed three persons. Bakassi cult clash claimed four lives in Cross River. A Catholic priest was killed by bandits in Niger with his brother and 17 others kidnapped.
January 17: 35 bandits were killed by troops of the Operation Hadarin Daji in different encounters in Zamfara and Katsina states.
January 17: Seven vigilantes in Mashogu LGA of Niger State were killed in an ambush by bandits
January 17: Bandits killed 10 including one soldier, and five bandits were killed in Maradun, Zamfara.
January 17: Gunmen killed two police officers and two others in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
January 17: Nigerian troops killed 30 bandits and lost one soldier in Bungudu, Zamfara.
January 17: Bandits killed one in Igabi LGA, killed one and kidnapped one in Zaria LGA, and killed two in Giwa LGA in Kaduna.
January 17: Two persons were gunned down in Ughelli North LGA of Delta State during cults clash at a popular hotel along Warri-Ekuigbo Road.
January 18: Two bandits were killed by troops along Sabon-Iche-Kagarko Raod, Kagarko LGA of Kaduna State.
January 18: Gunmen killed a policeman, injured two others and carted away two guns in Borokiri, Port Harcourt.
January 18: No fewer than five persons were killed and seven others were injured in a renewed hostility over land between Uko Ntenge and Uko Akpan communities in Mbo LGA of Akwa Ibom State.
January 18: Police officers killed two kidnappers in Mangu, Plateau.
January 18: Nigerian troops killed two bandits in Kagarko, Kaduna
January 18: Sectarian violence led to seven deaths in Mbo, Akwa Ibom.
January 18: Nine soldiers and five Boko Haram insurgents were killed during a clash in Nasarawa.
January 18: Bandits killed 35 in Maru, Zamfara.
January 18: Bandits killed seven vigilantes in Mashegu, Niger State.
January 19: A 55-year old man, Ishau Falana, beat his reative, Badmus Rafiu, to death at Oluwasogo area of Ijaka Isale, Ayetoro, Ogun State.
January 19: Gunmen killed a young man, Ajitwewunmeshe Emmah in Igarra, Akoko-Edo LGA of Edo State.
January 20: Nigerian troops killed five Boko Haram insurgents in Damboa, Borno.
January 20: Bandits killed two in Chikun LGA, one in Giwa LGA, and one in Igabi LGA in Kaduna.
January 21: Bandits killed 13 and kidnapped 11 in Bungudu, Zamfara.
January 21: Yansakai, an outlawed vigilante group, killed two herdsmen in Maradun, Zamfara.
January 21 Bandits killed four people in isolated locations of Giwa, Chikun and Igabi LGAs of Kaduna State
January 21: A 23-year old man, Samuel Ajibade, was beaten to death over alleged phone theft by three suspects at Iju Ola, Ado-Odo/Ota LGA of Ogun State.
January 22: Four suspected kidnappers were killed in exchange of gunfire with soldiers on Owo-Ifon Highway, Ondo State.
January 23: A communal clash resulted in 40 deaths in Ohaukwu, Ebonyi.
January 23: Pirates killed one sailor and kidnapped 15 off the coast of Nigeria (estimated at Bonny, Rivers).
January 23: Military airstrikes killed “many” (estimated at 20) bandits in Chikun, Kaduna.
January 23: One person was feared dead while scores were wounded in a clash between Nigeria Army and Eastern Security Network of IPOB in Orlu, Imo State.