The past week was characterised by great bloodletting in Nigeria with the killing of 261 people during several attacks, mostly in the Northern region. The figure is the highest death toll within such a period in recent times.
According to the Nigeria Security Tracker, which catalogues violent incidents driven by political and socio-economic grievances, Borno State, with 114 deaths, recorded the highest number of fatalities. It is followed by Katsina State where 75 people were killed.
Twenty-four people died in Adamawa, nine died in Kogi, seven died in Benue, five died in Bayelsa, and one died each in Ebonyi, Osun and Taraba states.
Of all those who were killed, 184 were civilians and two were security operatives. Twenty were members of the Boko Haram terror group, 24 were sectarian actors, seven were robbers, and four others were part of armed groups.
The deaths, caused by violent events between Monday, June 8, 2020, and Saturday, June 13, 2020, were unusually high. In the previous one week period, HumAngle had reported, 183 Nigerians lost their lives due to insecurity. This, in other words, means the fatalities increased by 31.7 per cent.
Between Monday, May 25, and Sunday, May 31, the number of deaths was smaller at 149.
Last Tuesday, at least 81 people were killed during an attack on communities in Gubio Local Government Area by suspected members of Boko Haram as confirmed by the Borno State government. Thirteen residents were injured and seven others, including one village head, were abducted.
While addressing journalists, the state governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, described the incident as barbaric and unfortunate.
“The only solution to end this massacre is by dislodging the insurgents in the shores of Lake Chad. Doing so will require collaborative regional efforts,” he said.
One of the survivors said the jihadi fighters operated for about six hours between 10a.m. and 4p.m.
“They gathered us and said they wanted to deliver a religious sermon to us and asked us to submit whatever arm we had. Some villagers gave up their dane guns, bows and arrows. The insurgents pretended as if they were not there for any violence.
“Suddenly, they started shooting at will. Even children and women were not spared, many were shot at close range. Many started running. In the end, many persons were killed and we have been burying people from 10 p.m last night to about 6 a.m this morning.
“We have buried 49 corpses here while another 32 corpses were taken away by families from the villages around us. The insurgents abducted seven persons, including our village head. They went away with 400 cattle,” the attack victim said.
On the same day, there were separate attacks and a communal clash respectively in Katsina and Adamawa states that left 80 people dead.
President Muhammadu Buhari during his Democracy Day speech on Friday said his government remained unshaken in its resolve to protect national infrastructure.
“Ending insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality across the nation is being accorded appropriate priorities and the men and women of the Armed Forces of Nigeria have considerably downgraded such threats across all geo-political zones,” he said.
“All the Local Governments that were taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa have long been recovered and are now occupied by indigenes of these areas who were hitherto forced to seek a living in areas far from their ancestral homes.”
The president said he regretted the tragic loss of lives in Katsina and Borno states and promised that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.