No fewer than 53,418 Nigerians lost their lives to non-state actors between May 29, 2015, and October 15, 2022. The deaths occurred mostly from farmers’/herders’ conflict, clashes by religious groups, and attacks by terrorists and bandits.
The data of Nigerians killed since the inception of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), were obtained from the Nigerian Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations of the United States of America.
Insecurity has worsened under the regime with some state governors instructing their citizens to bear arms to defend themselves despite the current embargo on the issuance of firearm licences. Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State and Aminu Massari of Katsina State has made several calls in that regard.
It was also on the same matter of insecurity that frustrated federal lawmakers who threatened to impeach the President.
Nigeria’s Killing Field
A breakdown of the killings by geo-political zones showed that the South-West region recorded no fewer than 2,170 deaths in the period under review with Ekiti having 109; Ondo, 340; Osun, 198; Ogun, 507; Oyo, 310; and Lagos, 706.
A total of 3,688 deaths were recorded in the South-South region with Akwa Ibom State having 373; Bayelsa, 350; Cross River, 685; Delta, 720; Edo, 463; and Rivers, 1,097.
In the South-East region, Abia recorded 249 killings; Anambra, 613; Ebonyi, 562; Enugu, 273; and Imo, 574, thus making a total of 2,271.
The North-Central region, including the Federal Capital Territory, recorded a total of 8,593 deaths with Benue topping with 2,771; Niger, 2,572; Plateau, 1,709; Kogi, 654; Nasarawa, 320; FCT, 317; and Kwara, 250.
The North-East region, which is the epicentre of Boko Haram and ISWAP insurgency, recorded the highest number of deaths in the period under review with a total of 23,106. Borno State recorded 18,213 deaths; Adamawa 1,853; Yobe, 1,375; Taraba, 1,335; Bauchi, 169; and Gombe 161.
According to the report, a total of 13,590 persons have so far been killed under Buhari in the North- West region, where 2,037 lives have been wasted in the President’s home state of Katsina. However, Zamfara leads with 5,6164 deaths; Sokoto, 872; Kaduna, 530; Kebbi, 331; Kano, 149; and Jigawa, 55.
Arm yourselves – Danjuma
A former Minister of Defence, Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), on Saturday, reiterated his call on Nigerians, especially residents of Taraba State, to acquire arms and defend themselves and their territories against bandits.
Danjuma made the call during the coronation and presentation of staff of office to the 25th Aku Uka of Wukari, Adda Ishaku Ali, in the Wukari Local Government Area of the state.
He lamented that innocent Nigerians were being attacked and killed by bandits, who were being allegedly guided by troops to perpetrate the act.
Danjuma said, “When I said the military were colluding with the armed bandits in 2017, the then minister of defence set up a kangaroo commission of enquiry that mischievously submitted that there was no evidence about my claim and they asked me to come and defend it.
“I thank God today that the evidence is very clear to all Nigerians now. “Many Nigerian communities are now being sacked by the same bandits that I alleged and all these bandits are foreigners.
“As a soldier, I must say that the best way to defend is to attack. I will not buy arms for you. But I urge you to find out how those attacking you acquired arms, and then acquire the arms and attack back to defend yourselves and your territory.”
- Sources Punch