The month of June, 2020, started on a frenzy in Nigeria with the rape of young women across the country sparking a public outcry over the crime, most of which are not reported.
HumAngle reported different dimensions of the problem, including its origins and the need for justice for victims.
In addition, HumAngle deeply explored issues around the effects of insecurity on victims in the North East and North West as well as detailed, breaking stories that highlight the current state of the war against insurgency.
Notably, in the month of June, HumAngle took a daring stance to refer to terror groups in the North West as terrorists, rather than bandits. When our milestones for the month are carefully read through, it is easy to see the impact of the actions of these terror groups on the communities.
Here are some of the stories we consider milestones:
Residents in Kano metropolis hit by severe water scarcity, are drawn into daily desperation to assuage their domestic and sanitary needs. Troubled by this, women, children and young men are out for long hours each day in search of potable water.
Long queues of residents in commercial boreholes to fetch water is alarming, as the citizens narrated that most of the time they made voluntary contributions to purchase a tank of water from water vendors who are not often sufficient for the entire community.
Alfindiki, a community in Kano Municipal, is faced with water shortage for over five years. Kano State Water Board in an interview with HumAngle revealed that the residents vandalized water infrastructure by obstructing waterways.
Fear of massive community spread has enveloped some Nigerians after several people revealed that they had suffered illnesses with symptoms similar to COVID-19.
The illness, termed ‘a new strain of malaria’, has caused people to experience loss of smell, taste and dry cough as the most prominent symptoms.
Many people have found the timing of the spread suspicious and fear that there are a lot of unknowing COVID-19 carriers.
One major security challenge for the government and security agencies in Lagos State is pipeline vandalism, which often results in the loss of lives and properties. The suspected vandals are sometimes victims of fires which occur from the damage on infrastructure.
The areas considered notorious for pipeline vandalism in Lagos State are Ikorodu, Idimu, Igando and Abule-Egba, which HumAngle investigations reveal that every year, at least one pipeline accident occurs.
Claim: An email purportedly from SANS Technology Institute, whose screenshot has recently circulated on social media, states that Nigeria has been listed as a “state sponsor of terrorism” by the United States Department of State.
The name of the email’s recipient was blotted out and the date is not clear. Checks by HumAngle, however, suggest the image has not appeared online in the past and is likely not outdated.
Statistics from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, reputed to be the most widely used real-time data source on political violence, indicate that the rate of abductions and forced disappearances increased significantly in Nigeria during the lockdown over COVID-19.
Some Nigerians feared that the lifting of the ban on interstate travel might trigger a shift in the focus of criminals to the roads. But that is not all Nigerians worry about.
The social media users sharing the image claim that the firearms in the picture were among those unearthed recently in Gusau of Zamfara State.
He is simply identified as Sani. He is from Makami community in the Shiroro part of Niger State, North Central Nigeria. With the escalation of violent raids by armed militiamen and frequent abduction of community members, the need to negotiate with the assailants for the rescue of victims became paramount.
Sani fitted into a profile of one tasking such assignment. It is a risky work that requires tact and courage. In the course of the investigation of the terror raids on communities in Shiroro, Niger state, HumAngle met and spoke with Sani. He shared his experiences.
Competition over scarce resources between farmers and herders; and absence of a justice system to resolve cases of rustling over the years, led to the violence that has turned into widespread terrorism, across northern Nigeria.
Currently, the stereotype and stigma of herders in Nigeria and across the Sahel are driving many Fulani youths to forest areas, where they are joining violent groups.
Shiroro Local Government Area described as the food basket of Niger State is known for the production of large scale yam, rice and cassava. It is also the location of Nigeria’s biggest hydroelectric power station.
In the last four years, the area has faced serious attacks from armed gangs, ranging from bandits, cattle rustlers and kidnappers.
The local government area is believed to be the epicentre of armed attacks in Niger State because of its strategic economic relevance plus its close proximity to Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, also a hub of unwholesome terror attacks in recent weeks.
The armed conflict in the communities has destroyed family structures with many losing their assets and properties as a result of high demand for ransom from criminals. They also threaten food security as the attackers have warned farmers not to go to the farms or get killed.
The recent armed attacks in Shiroro Local Government Area forced villagers to flee their homes to get temporary shelter at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Kuta to escape further attacks from the criminals.
The over 3,000 victims are camped in Central Primary School, Kuta, and Gwada Primary Schoolin Kuta, Shiroro Local Government Area. Central Primary School is at the centre of the town close to the main market and Jumma’a Mosque, while Gwada Primary School is on the outskirts of the town
Some years back, a French national was murdered in broad daylight in Cameroon’s economic capital of Douala.
Responsibility for the heinous crime was quickly placed on the thousands of “street children” that roam the streets of that commercial city and the media hurriedly went to town with accusations associating the children without any known residences with almost all the crimes in the city.
For the first time, these young Cameroonians, popularly known as “nang’eboko” (outdoor sleepers) came out strongly to protest against the injustice that has over the years been doing them as they are always “falsely accused” of all the evils that visit most cities and big towns in the country.
This bang has helped bring into focus, the travails of these other Cameroonians, who constitute an integral part of the national community and not a community apart.
For the thousands of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) across Nigeria, the proverbial silver lining seems to never materialise. Their story is a steady chronicle of layers of agonies. In Abuja, the fate of these people is not different.
HumAngle was at the Durumi IDP camp, one of the most prominent of over 18 such camps in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 where 13 inmates are believed to have lost their lives since the COVID-19 lockdown.
Despite having one of the highest concentrations of IDPs in Abuja, the Durumi camp has not stopped receiving new members.
While some move in from other camps in the city, others are newly displaced Nigerians from the communities targeted by insurgents.
For months, confusion and conjecture surrounded the story of mysterious deaths in Kano state, which happened at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic in April 2020. The actual causes of the deaths remain contentious subject till date in Kano.
After the verbal autopsy was conducted and the results showed some of the deaths were as a result of Covid-19, many residents still doubt the existence of COVID19 in Kano State.
Despite the guidelines given by the Federal and state government of wearing a face mask, observing social distance, washing and sanitizing of hand. But a large number of residents are not complying with the precautionary measures, most public places and gathering are not provided with hand sanitizers and water, all these guidelines are largely forgotten.
Despite the reluctance of the governments in the Southeast states – Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Anambra and Imo, recent reports on the spread of COVID-19 in the region calls for attention.
With about 1, 035 cases, 21 deaths and 549 active patients among them, data show that the fear in the Southeast is due to the caliber of persons who have contracted the virus.
Terrorist groups across Northern Nigeria are exploiting forest areas, including reserves designated as protected forest zones by the government for the conservation and management of national forest resources, to terrorise rural communities and travellers and also evade security forces.
Experts have analysed ways that the forests present good hideouts for criminal elements and terrorists.
Health workers at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AEFUTHA), who have been working since December 2019 without pay, confirm to HumAngle that they have received salaries for June.
Resident doctors working at the federal health facility told our reporter they received credit alerts “for the first time” on Friday. The leadership of the Association of Resident Doctors has also assured them they will be paid the arrears of six months “in due time”.
In a report published in May, HumAngle had called attention to the difficulties the health workers were going through as a result of the prolonged delay in payment. The hospital management told them they could be paid because they had yet to be enrolled in the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and, because of movement restrictions between states, there was nothing they could do.
Notorious terrorist leader, Dogo Gide, and his cronies were carving out a territory for themselves before airstrikes conducted by the Nigerian Armed Forces destroyed their camp on Sunday, June 7.
HumAngle learnt that Gide and another terrorist leader, known as Kachalla Yellow, built this community ‘Birni’ (city) using the location of a village they ousted in 2013.
The Fulani in Nigeria are steadily picking up the roles of the villain in a horror script. The plots are unfolding at an unbelievable pace. And their neighbours and long-standing allies are watching helplessly in utter disbelief.
The farmers are mostly Hausa and the nomadic pastoralists, mostly Fulani.
On June 2nd and 3rd, terrorists invaded communities of Maru and Mafara killing over 70 Citizens earlier reported by HumAngle.
The military trailed the marauding terrorists in airstrikes, killing and wounding scores. Dogo Gide, one of the most notorious terrorist leaders, is also reported to have been wounded during the military raid.
It was the week following the New Year festivities in 2020. The villages in the creeks of Bayelsa State were still radiant in the emblazons of the yuletide and people in their numbers were barely just returning to work from the holidays. It was a fit time for Sterling oil, a sector service company, to get its machinery into the field.
A dredger, MV AMBIKA, belonging to Sterling, had been set to work in the Ramos River. A group of pirates, the criminal gang that runs a duplicitous network of the region’s alternate economy, attacked the dredger and abducted three of the eight foreign crew members. When officers of the Nigerian Navy from the NNS Delta reported to the scene, the pirates greeted them with fierce, sweeping gunfire. Four of the six naval men were killed.