…Zamfara, Kebbi, Niger top chart of violence
No fewer than 1,031 persons were killed in violent incidents in June 2021 across the country with Zamfara, Kebbi and Niger recording the highest of the casualties, a security report has revealed.
In Zamfara State, no fewer than 275 persons were killed, while Kebbi and Niger states lost 93 and 91 persons, respectively, during the period, the report stated.
According to the report by Beacon Consulting, a security risk management and intelligence consulting company based in Abuja, 390 others were abducted in 205 incidents recorded in 34 states of the country, within the same period.
The “Nigeria Security Report” sighted by our correspondent, took into consideration diverse security incidents in June, including armed attacks, armed clashes, mob violence, social upheaval and violent crimes to arrive at its figure.
The report stated that in 127 LGAs across 34 states of the federation, with the exception of Bauchi and Gombe, incidents of fatalities and kidnappings were recorded.
It noted that most of the cases recorded occurred in rural areas where bandits are holding sway.
The report stated that Boko Haram and related groups killed nine persons and abducted 20 others in four attacks recorded in June. Also within this period, 18 persons were killed in 12 violent attacks blamed on unknown gunmen, Eastern Security Network and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra.
According to a breakdown of the figures, the North West recorded the highest incidents with 416 fatalities and 280 abductions in 28 LGAs, followed by the North Central which recorded 218 fatalities and 24 abductions in 27 LGAs.
Also, within the same period, the North East recorded 188 fatalities and 22 abductions, while the South East recorded 117 killings and 26 abductions. The breakdown also shows that the South West had 74 fatalities and 27 abductions, while the South-South recorded 18 fatalities and 11 abductions.
In the North West, Zamfara, where activities of bandits pauperized most rural dwellers, there were no abductions recorded, despite the loss of 275 persons in attacks. Neighbouring Kebbi State had 93 fatalities with 119 abductions. Similarly, Kaduna State recorded 26 deaths with 157 abductions.
While Katsina State recorded six deaths with three abductions, Sokoto State had 15 fatalities with zero abduction, Kano and Jigawa States recorded one death each with no abductions.
In the North Central, the breakdown shows that Niger State recorded the highest incidents of fatalities of 91 and three abductions, followed by Benue with 72 deaths and a single abduction, while Plateau recorded 27 fatalities and a single abduction.
Kwara State recorded 11 deaths with no abduction, while Kogi and the Federal Capital Territory recorded three deaths and 10 abductions, respectively.
The report further stated that the activities of non-state actors, popularly referred to as bandits, continued unabated in the North West and North Central, despite ongoing security forces operations.
The security report partly read, “In the reporting period, the violent attacks on mainly rural communities were sustained in Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, and Zamfara states and mass abduction of students in schools in Kebbi, Kaduna, and Niger states, as well as families of staff, workers and patients at a medical institution in Kaduna State.
“We also monitored the setting up of illegal checkpoints, where these non-state actors abducted commuters and in one incident along the Kaduna – Kachia road, killed some of their victims for unknown reasons. We monitored increasing indications of the convergence between armed groups in the northeast and the ones in the North Central and North West.”
A total of 101 fatalities were recorded in eight LGAs of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, and Taraba in the North-East. Some of the incidents mentioned in the report in the region included Boko Haram attack on a community and killing of policemen, as well as the burning of UN facilities in Yobe State; the killing of over 50 ISWAP terrorists in Borno and the killing of six ISWAP terrorists in Dikwa, Borno State.
The report also mentioned bandits’ attack on Gadawaluwol village in Adamawa State during which one person was killed, as well as the killing by suspected herdsmen of a father and two sons in Galang Jauro village in Taraba State.
According to the report, 117 fatalities were recorded with 26 kidnappings in 20 LGAs of Enugu, Anambra, Abia and Ebonyi States in the South-East. The incidents which resulted in the fatalities and kidnappings included armed attacks, armed clashes, social upheavals, violent crimes and airstrikes/bomb attacks.
In the South-South, 17 fatalities and one kidnapping were recorded in 15 LGAs of Edo, Rivers, Delta, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom. The incidences included armed attacks, armed clashes, social upheavals, violent crimes, and airstrikes/bomb attacks.
In the South West, the report recorded 74 fatalities and 27 abductions from 30 LGAs of Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Ogun, and Lagos. The incidents include armed attacks, armed clashes, social upheavals, violent crimes, and airstrikes/bomb attacks.
Following the trends arising from the incident analysis in June, the report warned that criminal activities, including kidnapping for ransom, violent and petty crimes, as well as home invasions, are likely to continue in the short and medium terms due to the parlous state of the Nigerian economy and rising inflation.
The report further reads: “There will be a continuation of non-state actors’ activities challenging the supremacy of the state’s monopoly of force and sustenance of their attacks on communities including kidnapping for ransom and raids. This, in turn, will push communities to evolve self-help initiatives including protests, where they block access routes and arm themselves.
“The deteriorating security situation will continue to fuel political rancor and the exchange between the ruling party and its members and between it and opposition parties, social upheaval especially protests by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and political groups hiding behind civil activists will emerge as a major driver of security challenges as the effect of the economic downturn forces government at the federal and state levels to take measures to manage these impacts.
“In the North East, the non-state actors waging a terror war and the ongoing military operation Hadin Kai will continue the armed conflict. The restructuring and consolidation of ISWAP will translate into bolder attacks and other activities of the group. This will mean a continuation of armed attacks and counterattacks as well as illegal checkpoints mounted along major travel routes particularly in Borno state but in the border towns of Yobe and Adamawa states.”