At least, 2,968 people were killed while 1,484 were abducted in Nigeria from January to March 2022, according to data released by the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST)
Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), a project of the Council on Foreign Relations, gathers the data though “weekly surveys of Nigerian and international media.”
According to the data, more people were killed in the North-west region than in other regions in the country. At least 1,103 people were killed within the period in the region.
The North-central region recorded the second-highest number of murders with 984 killed during the period while in the North-east 488 were killed.
In the South-east 181 were killed during the period under review, while in the South-west and South-South regions 127 and 85 people were killed respectively.
Gunmen, locally called bandits, have been attacking and killing thousands of people in the country’s North-west since 2017. These assailants have attacked rural dwellers, destroyed their farmlands and in many cases only allow them to the farm after they have paid protection fees. They have also targeted travellers across the region in what some analysts say is one of the most lucrative kidnap-for-ransom syndicates in the continent.
In the North-east, the Islamist group, Boko Haram, has waged a bloody insurgency against the country, an estimated 35,000 people have been killed and over 3 million people displaced by the conflict.
In the South-east, unknown gunmen, which is a euphemism for members of the separatist organisation, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its militia wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN), have killed several people. They especially target government buildings and security personnel. They also run a kidnap-for-ransom operation in the region.
In the South-South region, there has been a lull in attacks by the Niger Delta Militant group. However, cult clashes are still rampant in River State. In Cross River and Akwa Ibom, many villages have been sacked and hundreds of people killed due to communal clashes. Cult clashes and armed robbery are also rife in the South-west.
In January, 998 people were killed, 756 were killed in February and 1,214 if March across the country.
More violence in the north
The data show that the country’s north is the more violent region with 2,575 (86.8%) murders, while the country’s south recorded 393 deaths (13.2%)
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Some of the most violent states in the country are Niger with 840 deaths followed by Zamfara with 404, Borno 392, Kaduna 332 and Kebbi 114.
The data further show that the North-west recorded 746 abductions during the period. In the North-central 547 were abducted while 61 people were abducted in the North-east.
In the South-east, 53 people were abducted, 44 were abducted in the South-South and 36 people were abducted in the South-west.
The northern part of the country with 1,354, has 91.2% of those abducted while the southern part with 130 abductees has 8.8%.
In January, 623 people were abducted while in February, 342 got kidnapped and 519 March.
Based on a state by state analysis, the top five states with the highest number of abductees are Niger 458, Kaduna 448, Zamfara 138, Katsina 138, Katsina 106 and Kogi 51.
▪︎ By Premium Times