Activities of terrorist groups, robbers, bandits, and other criminal groups have led to the loss of 429 lives in Nigeria within the space of one month, data from the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) shows.
The casualties were recorded during incidents that occurred between Saturday, July 25, and Friday, August 21, in 23 states across the country as well as two border towns shared with neighbouring countries; Tenana in Chad and Mayo-Moskota in Cameroon.
Analysis by HumAngle revealed that Borno State had the highest number of victims with a death toll of 149, followed by Kaduna where 56 people were killed, Niger (32), Katsina (30), Rivers (20), Bayelsa (17), and Kogi (17).
Among the fatalities were 150 civilians, 29 security operatives, four political actors, and one journalist. Also killed were 110 suspected Boko Haram members, 48 sectarian actors, eight kidnappers, five robbers, and 74 other armed people.
Gunmen killed at least 11 civilians on August 12 in Ukuru a village in the Mariga Local Government Area of Niger. “The bandits waited for most of our strongmen to go to the farm before they attacked the village and escape with some cows,” one resident said, adding that it could have been a reprisal for the death of four bandits earlier killed in self-defence.
In July, unidentified gunmen killed 14 people and “fatally injured” six others in Agbudu, Kogi.
“The saddening thing is that out of the 14 dead bodies that were brought out, 13 were from one family.” said the state commissioner of police, Ede Ayuba.
“In that family, it is only one person that survived. His uncle, his mother, his uncle’s wife, his younger brother, his senior brother’s wife, his wife, and all his children were killed,” he added.
Within the four-week period, 166 Nigerians were additionally abducted according to NST’s catalogue. On Tuesday, August 18, alone, over 100 people were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in Kukawa, a town in Borno State.
“At around 4 pm on Tuesday, terrorists in about 20 trucks overran the town of Kukawa. They engaged soldiers guarding the people in a ferocious firefight,” a source in the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) told journalists.
“After about 30 minutes of engaging the military in ferocious fire exchange, they (insurgents) were able to overpower them and went away with over 100 hostages.”
Another 14 people were abducted by gunmen in Dausu, a community in Nasarawa’s Umaisha Development Area, on July 27.
Amnesty International, a human rights group, said on Monday that the inability of Nigeria’s security forces to protect communities in the northern region was “utterly shameful”.
“In addition to the security forces’ failure to heed warnings or respond in time to save lives, the fact that no perpetrators have been brought to justice leaves rural communities feeling completely exposed,” said the country director, Osai Ojigho.
“The Nigerian authorities’ failure to stem the violence is costing people’s lives and livelihoods, and without immediate action many more lives may be lost.”