In just 60 days into 2020, no less than 690 lives are already lost to violent incidents across Nigeria, data from Nigeria Security Tracker reveal.
The death toll, catalogued by the Council on Foreign Relations project, is occasioned by different factors including terrorism, banditry and other violent crimes.
Although Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states remain the flashpoints of violence and insurgency courtesy of Boko Haram, ISWAP and ANSARU, Kaduna state witnessed the highest rate of killing between January and February 2020, with 299 victims—43.04% of the overall nationwide record.
On February 11, 2020, 11 members of the same family were reportedly burnt alive at Bakali village by bandits. Other reports say that 10 additional people were killed by the bandits in the same village in Fatika District, Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna.
Armed bandits also launched gruesome attacks on Kerawa, Zareyawa, and Minda villages in Kaduna, leaving behind massive human and material casualties. The March 1st attack was reported by eyewitnesses as a revenge against the villagers for providing intelligence to security agencies. At least, 50 people were killed.
Civilians are not the only victims. In January, four Air Force officers were ambushed and killed along Kaduna-Birnin Gwari road by bandits, following the kidnap of four soldiers and two other policemen along Damaturu-Maiduguri road by ISWAP terrorists.
While violence is not new to Kaduna, the escalating trend with death tolls outnumbering insurgence-ravaged states is quite worrisome. Clearly, Nigeria is grappling with multiple conflict situations with the spread of diverse outlaws across the country, and its bloodbath effects.