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An estimated 2,732 people were killed in 33 states and the FCT in three months, a new report by a Lagos based research firm has shown.

The report, ‘Media Reported Killing in Nigeria’, conducted by SBM Intelligence, revealed killings from violent incidents, including attacks from Boko Haram, kidnappers, armed herders, various militia, and communal clashes.

The project was a joint effort between SBM and another civil society organisation, Enough is Enough.

SBM had in April reported the killings of nearly 1,000 people between January to March 2020.

It said the report utilised various security trackers, the Council for Foreign Relations’s Nigeria Security Tracker, the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), and locally generated reports.

“Violence continued and the lack of requisite response from the government and security services in facing insecurity head-on contributed to this problem,” it said. “The lockdown brought about untold economic downturn added to a growing unemployment problem in a country seeing youth unemployment at nearly 43 per cent (estimated).”

SBM security analyst, Confidence Isaiah, explained some of the reasons for the upsurge in the number of casualties in the report.

“The uptick in the number of death of soldiers has to do with increased attacks on the North-west. The bandits are not just armed robbers or cattle rustlers with rag-tag weapons. They now operate sophisticated weaponry that can almost match what the military has and this has emboldened them to sustain their operations against communities and the military alike.”

Killing fields

The report covers the numbers of fatalities across 33 states and the FCT, incorporating the six geopolitical zones in the country. It includes the number of deaths among security personnel in the country.

The report revealed that 221 security personnel including 173 soldiers, 39 police officers, three civil defence officers, and six vigilantes were killed in the three months.

The security index also recorded 845 deaths of ‘terrorists and bandits’ and 502 insurgents.

Borno recorded the highest number with 941 killings, while Jigawa emerged the lowest with three killings in the report.

Included was Yobe,143; Taraba, 113; Adamawa, 95 respectively. In the North-west, Zamfara recorded 444 deaths; Katsina, 207; Kaduna, 179 and Sokoto, 99.

Osun and Ekiti recorded four cases each; Kwara with five; Abia, six; Oyo, Akwa Ibom, and Enugu had seven cases respectively.

Regions

The North-east region recorded the highest number at 1,294 cases while the South-west region recorded the least at 51.

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Meanwhile, the South-south, recorded 126 killings; the South-east, 62.

The North-central region recorded 270 deaths, while the North-west had 929.

Strident calls, unheeded

The Nigerian Senate on Monday asked its military chiefs to ‘step aside’ to enable a new set of officials with new ideas tackle insecurity across the country.

The motion was sponsored by Ali Ndume, a lawmaker from the embattled North-east.

In a now expected reaction to the Senate resolutions, the presidency said the removal of the service chiefs was a ‘presidential prerogative.’

Despite many calls for their sack, President Muhammadu Buhari has retained the service chiefs even as the body count mounts in many states.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how violence in parts of North-west Nigeria forced an estimated 23,000 persons to seek safety in the neighbouring Niger Republic in April alone, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

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