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Insecurity: Benue, Zamfara, Borno record highest deaths as over 3,100 people killed in three months in violent attacks across Nigeria

*Killer herdsmen, unknown gunmen, extra-judicial killings cause 293, mostly civilian, deaths in South East in three months!

About 3,133 people were killed in Nigeria between April and June of 2021 in violent attacks by Boko Haram terrorists, killer herdsmen, abductors/kidnappers, bandits, cultists and armed robbers, among others, a report compiled by SBM Intelligence has revealed.

According to the report by SBM Intelligence, a geopolitical intelligence platform and EIE Nigeria, a civil society organisation, from data derived from media reports, 1,772 civilians were killed during this period while 296 security personnel from Customs, Department of State Services, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Police and the military lost their lives within this period.

A further breakdown of people killed shows that 1,772 civilians, 416 bandits, 334 Boko Haram terrorists, 113 cultists, 153 soldiers, 133 police officers, 71 Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) members, 53 vigilante members, 48 armed robbers, 21 kidnappers, eight NSCDC officers, one custom officer and one DSS officer fell victim to attacks.

A breakdown of deaths by geopolitical zones shows that 894 persons were killed in the North West, 867 in the North Central, 655 in the North East, 293 in the South East, 247 in the South South and 177 in the South West.

Among the states, Benue State had the highest death rate with 473 victims, while Zamfara had 461 and Borno recorded 444.

In Niger, 276 people were killed while Kaduna had 175, Kebbi, 145, Imo, 108, Yobe, 99, Ebonyi 85, Rivers, 84, Katsina 82, Anambra, 72, Oyo, 72, Plateau 68, Taraba, 60, Akwa Ibom, 59, Delta 40, Cross River, 33, Osun 31, Sokoto, 30, Gombe, 29, Ogun, 24, Adamawa, 23, Lagos 23, Enugu, 20, Ondo 19, Edo 17, Kwara, 15, Bayelsa, 14, Nasarawa, 13, Abuja, 11, Kogi 11, Abia, eight, Ekiti, eight and Jigawa, one.

For some time, Benue has emerged the hotbed of killings by herdsmen and bandits, followed by Zamfara and Niger.

On April 24, suspected Fulani herdsmen, allegedly attacked Yogbo – Mbayev Council Ward of Guma Local Council of Benue, killing 17 persons and injuring several others. The attackers reportedly invaded the communities at about 2.00 a.m that day and killed nine persons at Ajimaku, one at Ayeri, and four others at Tse Gborigyo, near Udei, all in Guma.

In a similar attack on the same day, suspected bandits killed eight persons, including women and children in Ajimaka, a Tiv settlement in Doma Local Council of Nasarawa State. The bandits, carrying weapons, invaded the community at about 2.00 a.m., shooting sporadically and chanting war songs.

At different fora, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue had blamed the Federal Government for not doing enough to protect the state and said many of the indigenes have resulted to self-help to defend themselves.

In Zamfara, the situation has been as gruesome.  On Wednesday, June 16 and Thursday, June 17, armed terrorists killed scores of civilians during attacks in Nasarawa Burkullu area of Bukkuyum Local Government. On June 11, at least 61 persons were killed after a terror group riding motorcycles raided a community in the Zurmi Local Government Area of the state.

According to a Daily Sun earlier report, a total of 2371 people were abducted in Nigeria between January and June of 2021 with N10 billion demanded as ransom for victims.

The report shows that Niger state recorded the highest number of abducted persons with 643 victims in 28 kidnap cases, while 58 people were killed during the abductions. Zamfara State came second with 519 kidnap victims in seven incidents, leading to the deaths of 22 people, while Kaduna state recorded 360 kidnap victims in 26 incidents, leading to the deaths of 41 persons. The most targets in the abductions that took place in the first half of 2021 were schools where hundreds of students taken hostage in the north-west.

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