By News Digest.
NEWS DIGEST – For the first half of the year 2018, over 1, 049 lives have been lost to several major attacks and killings across Eight states in Nigeria. THE NEWS DIGEST’s analysis revealed.
The data gathered is a product of reports of the killings confirmed by the Nigerian police force, other security agencies and community leaders in states like Kaduna, Zamfara, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Taraba, Kwara, Benue and Plateau.
Benue state: 152 killed
January 1, the first day of the year 2018, which ought to be welcomed with celebrations, came with a sorrowful experience as over 72 lives were lost in a fight between Nomadic herdsmen and the farmers at Logo and Guma local government areas of the state.
On the 4th of March, 24 residents were killed and Twenty others feared missing after suspected herdsmen struck again in Okpokwu Local Government Area.
Emergency officials described the attacks as “very brutal” and said three villages were affected, with more than 2,000 displaced persons now desperate for relief materials.
Also on April 12, Premium Times Newspaper reported how armed intruders killed 41 villagers in Logo and Ukum Local Government Areas, Benue State. Properties as well as other valuables were destroyed.
Gunmen and Suspected herdsmen killed 15 people in a Catholic Church in Benue State, on April 25. The attack occurred in Ayar-Mbalom, a community in Gwer East Local Government Area.
Adamawa state: 71
About 20 lost their lives in the February 27 clash between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Gwamba village in Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
Also, 21 people were also killed, with several others injured and houses burnt down in Dowayan village, Demsa local government of Adamawa state by suspected herdsmen
A source told THISDAY newspaper that the suspected herdsmen came in large numbers while carrying sophisticated weapons, which scared the security manning the area away, but the latter called for reinforcement immediately.
However, on May 5, Reports from Adamawa State said 30 people were killed by gunmen that attacked three villages in Numan Local Area of the state. Many others are said to be missing.
Taraba state: 121
March 1, Fifteen members of some Fulani communities in Taraba reportedly lost their lives in fresh clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Sardauna local government area.
Moreover, Killer-Fulani herdsmen extended their hostilities to Taraba State, killing 55 people in Lau local government area with over two hundred homes, including food stuff, reportedly destroyed.
Meanwhile, despite the presence of the Inspector General in Taraba, herdsmen on one Wednesdayevening invaded Jandeikyula village in Wukari Local Government Area of the State, killing at least 51 people on April 10.
This came barely 48 hours after the Inspector General of Police IGP Ibrahim Idris commissioned a mobile police base in Takum and confirmed reinforcement of three additional units of police personnel to Taraba to curb attacks in the State.
About 230 Tiv farmers have been reportedly killed by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen in Doma, Keana April 8 , Awe April 25, Obi Feb 6, and Lafia local government areas of Nasarawa State.
The interim President of Mdzough Tiv, a social-cultural organisation, Nasarawa State chapter, Mr Thomas Gaar, made this known on Thursday at a press briefing in Lafia, the state capital.
He said, “Our farms and farm produce are devastated and currently in shambles. Our farms have become death traps as they are tagged ‘No go areas.’ The armed Fulani herders hunt the Tiv man on hourly basis even more than wild animals,” he claimed.
Plateau state: 206
The police in Plateau State have confirmed 86 people dead in the violence that erupted on Saturday, June 23, in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area.
The violence, allegedly by armed herdsmen, almost led to reprisal attacks by in Jos, the state capital, on Sunday; leading the government to declare a curfew, PREMIUM TIMES reported.
Also, armed men attack Plateau mourners. The armed Fulanis ambushed the sympathizers on their way back from the burial,attacked and killed 34 persons from Nekan village, 39 others from Kufang and 47 people from Ruku village. With the total of 120
Kaduna State: 69
On March 22, Bandits loyal to the assassinated gang leader, Buharin Daji, at Nabango area under Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, reportedly killed 11 soldiers in what seems like a daring reprisal attack.
Also, there was mourning in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State on April 29 after armed bandits killed eight local miners in the area.
The bandits were said to have stormed the forest where the local miners were carrying out their activities and opened fire on them which the State Commissioner of Police, Austin Iwar, confirmed in a telephone conversation with this newspaper.
However, as reported on May 7, The death toll in the armed bandits’ attack on Gwaska Community in Birnin Gwari Local Government of Kaduna State increased to 58, as more bodies were recovered from the town and surrounding environs although The police had on Sunday put the death toll at Forty-five.
Kwara state – 30
It should be recalled that this newspaper reported the multiple banks robbery in Offa local government area on April 5.
The robbery claimed the lives of over 30 individuals including police personnels and residents. Although uncertainty surrounds the figures, the state police published 30 casualties.
Zamfara: 170 deaths
In the middle of February this year, suspected armed bandits struck in Birane village in Zurmi Local Government Area and killed at least 41 people.
Some weeks later, the armed bandits killed at least 62 in Bawar Daji, Kuru-Kuru and Jarkuka villages all in Anka local government area of the state.
13 people were killed in clash between bandits and vigilantes in Fankashi village of Maru local government area.
The attack came barely three weeks after 27 people were killed in a deadly raid on Kabaro village in Dansadau district of Maru Local Government.
The spokesman of the state police DSP Muhammad Shehu told Daily Trust that some residents of Fankashi community had earlier intercepted and executed two suspected armed bandits.
FG Intervention So Far
The Federal Government reacted to some of the killings with the deployment of more security operatives and troops, giving out aids to victims and Internally displaced persons in the IDP camps.
The Inspector General of Police IGP, Ibrahim Idris, commissioned a mobile police base in Takum and confirmed reinforcement of three additional units of police personnel to Taraba to curb attacks in the State.
In reaction to the Kaduna killings, the President approved the establishment of a permanent Battalion of the Nigerian Army in the Birnin Gwari General while an Armoured Personnel carrier (APC ) with security operatives were deployed to Offa.
According to media reports, President Muhammadu Buhari said N10 billion would be made available for the rehabilitation of affected communities in Plateau State which recently witnessed attacks by suspected herdsmen that claimed over 86 lives.
”The N10 billion funds that was approved to Nassarawa and Benue for the rehabilitation of farms and farming community would be made available to Plateau state,” the presidency said.
Likewise, the presidency mentioned that the Nigerian Police had deployed two police Surveillance Helicopters, five Armored Personnel Carriers, three Police Mobile Force Units (PMF), two Counter Terrorism Cells (CTU), Police Intelligence Unit and Conventional Police personnel from other states, to the affected areas.