A non-partisan organisation that promotes peace and social justice in Nigeria, Peace and Social Justice (PSJ), has revealed the causality figures of those affected by insecurity in Nigeria in its 2021 mid-year report.
In a comprehensive report by PSJ, it was revealed that thousands have been affected by insecurity in the country.
“In the past six months, data reports by PSJ Data Team revealed at least 3,186 persons have been killed, 2,963 abducted and 161 injured across Nigeria,” the report revealed.
The report also said that the severity of insecurity on Nigeria as a country has continued to remain a matter of debate with different sides having different opinions.
According to the findings, an indisputable fact is that insecurity has translated into massive killing in mostly rural communities through attacks, robbery, kidnappings and other violent forms in recent times making life unbearable for the people.
“The rate of atrocities perpetrated daily, though underreported, have reached a dangerous peak indicative of a war against the wellbeing of the Nigerian citizens,” the report said.
Continuing, the findings revealed that, “Over the last five years, there has been a concentration of atrocities in the northern part of the country and though, it still remains the epicentre, the violence has found its way into the southern parts of the country.
“The rate of abductions has experienced a huge spike from those of the previous year. The year started on a high note of mass abduction especially of school students as witnessed in Zamfara and Niger States where over 300 and 42 students were abducted respectively.
“Apparently, it thrives due to its lucrativeness in terms of ransom that is gotten from the schools, and communities that fall victims to the perpetrators. Regardless of these mass abductions, there have also been several abductions that have gone unreported in the last six months.
The group explained further that the challenge of fear, traumatisation, threats to families and loved ones of the abducted continue to hinder the process of shining the light on this preposterous activity.
“It thus means that the actual picture of the extent of the degrading activities remains unclear and requires more efforts at uncovering these wicked acts.
“Tremendous efforts have been geared towards identifying the perpetrators of these wicked acts. The most popular nomenclature in the media for perpetrators include words such as bandits, gunmen and have been found to mask the real perpetrators which include the Fulani Militia and Boko Haram as the main actors of these crimes. The attacks have mostly been on Christian villages where farms, crops and food storage were deliberately destroyed,” it revealed.
Going by the report, the attacks is widespread in the northern part of the country. “The frequency of attacks and casualties are higher in the northern states than others.”
Also revealed by the report are the suspected perpetrators of the heinous crimes. “The impact of Boko Haram and Fulani Militia atrocities were felt in higher dimensions in the Northern states. The Northern geopolitical zones were hit worst in order of ranking: North West, North Central and North East with deaths and abductions respectively.
“There have been diverse reports of escalated figures of casualties due to violent atrocities within the space of the first six months of 2021, but the PSJ team have been able to verify from media and field sources that the country has experienced the killings of at least 3,186 persons, abduction of 2,963 victims, and 161persons injured across Nigeria,” it said.
The statistical scenario of the atrocities are presented in figures below. The situation in the past six months were also statistically compared to the atrocities scenario of January to June 2020. It showed the worse progression of insecurity in the country.
Figure 1 shows the number of deaths, abductions and injuries caused by these atrocities from January to June, 2021 in Nigeria.
Figure 1: Atrocities in Nigeria from January till June, 2021
Figure 2 shows a distribution of the highest rate of deaths from January to June, 2021. The affected states include Kebbi, Ebonyi, Plateau, Niger, Borno, Benue, Kaduna and Zamfara.
Figure 2: Highest Death rates from January to June, 2021
Figure 3: Highest death rates from January to June 2020 and 2021
Figure 3 shows a comparison of the states with the highest death rates in year 2020 and 2021. The higher rates in 2021 also reveal the worsening state of the insecurity in the country and in some specific states namely; Niger, Benue and Zamfara.
Figure 4: Death rates per Geopolitical zones from January till June, 2021.
The rates of deaths due to these violent activities for the first half of the year have been categorized per geopolitical zones and also compared with death rates per geopolitical zones from the previous year. Figure 4 shows the death rates per geopolitical zones for January till June, 2021.
Figure 5 shows the compared death rates per geopolitical zones for January till June, 2020 and 2021.
Figure 5: Death rates per Geopolitical zones from January till June, 2021
Figure 6 shows a comparison of the highest rate of abductions from January to June for year 2020 and 2021. It stands as proof of the escalation of the wicked act of abduction across the country in the year 2021. It was observed that the states that experienced the highest rate of abductions in 2020 also experienced higher rates of abductions in year 2021. States that experienced the highest abductions in 2021 in their order of ranking include: Niger, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Borno with a total of 885, 523, 509, 273 and 227 abductions respectively.
Figure 6: Highest Abduction Rates from January to June 2020 and 2021
The rates of atrocities (deaths and abductions) were also categorized per geopolitical zones and also compared with the rates per geopolitical zones from the previous year.
Figure 7 shows the compared atrocities rates per geopolitical zones from January till June for year 2020 & 2021. The rates were found to be higher in 2021 with the exception of the North East zone. The North West zone recorded the highest rates of atrocities for January to June, 2020 and 2021.
Figure 7: Midyear atrocities for year 2020 and 2021
The consistent group of actors include Fulani Militia, Boko Haram and ISWAP. The statistical data revealed that the Fulani Militia is responsible for 86% of the atrocities, Boko Haram 8%, ISWAP 0.2% and other unnamed actors for the remaining 6%. Figure 8 shows that the involvement of primary actors responsible for the atrocities.
Figure 8: Primary Actors’ Percentage for January to June, 2021
In order to display the progression of death rates and abduction rates in states that were mostly affected, a month by month analysis of the atrocities rate are presented in Figures 9-12 for Kaduna, Zamfara, Borno and Niger States.
The death rates and abduction rates were both found to be highest in Borno state in the month of May. The highest death rate in Kaduna was recorded in January but high rates of abduction was recorded in January, April and June. The highest death rate in Zamfara was recorded in June, while the abduction rates was recorded in February.
Fig 9: Death and Abduction rates for Borno State from January to June, 2021
Figure 10: Death and Abduction Rates for Kaduna State (January to June, 2021)
Figure 11: Death and Abduction Rates for Niger State (January to June, 2021)
Figure 12: Death and Abduction Rates for Zamfara State (January to June, 2021)
Not too surprisingly, the first half of 2021 shows North West leading with the highest death rates followed by the North central. This is because of the high number of people being killed and kidnapped in states like Kaduna, Zamfara and Katsina. In Kaduna alone, 545 people were killed in the first half of the years while 1,723 were kidnapped. Scores were raped and others injured.
The reason the North Central region came second is also due to the massive killings in Plateau, Niger and Benue states, three states in North Central Nigeria that have seen frequent attacks on rural communities, kidnapping and banditry. Hundreds too have been killed in Plateau and Benue, dozens kidnapped and others injured. And from signs seen, the frequency of attacks and killings isn’t curving downward any time sooner.