At least 348 people were killed in violent attacks across Nigeria in December 2020, a report by a non-governmental organization, Nigeria Mourns, has shown
The report, titled “Violent Incidents Report: December 2020″, published on Monday was the last for the year 2020, through the use of newspaper reports and family sources to track violent killings.
According to the report, the cases for December were recorded in 27 states of the country and of the 348 people killed, 315 were civilians while 33 others were security operatives.
A total of 411 people were reportedly kidnapped in December last year.
The North-east state, Borno, troubled by Boko Haram, recorded the most alarming figures during the month with 70 deaths.
The casualty figures for each of the 27 states according to the report are as follows:
Borno – 70, Kaduna – 64, Niger – 26, Katsina – 24, Ogun – 23, Zamfara – 19, Benue – 17, Edo – 17, Delta – 14, Ebonyi – 13, Adamawa – 8, Oyo – 6, Ondo – 6, Bayelsa – 5, FCT – 5, Lagos – 5, Rivers – 4, Plateau – 3, Imo – 3, Cross River – 3, Kogi – 3, Jigawa – 3, Taraba – 2, Anambra – 2, Kano – 1, Osun – 1 and Enugu – 1.
On the aspect of the perpetrators of the violence, the report shows 136 people were killed by suspected bandits, 66 people killed by persons suspected to be members of Boko Haram or its breakaway faction, ISWAP, and 60 lives were claimed by in cult clashes.
In addition, communal crises led to the death of 41 people, 30 persons died in isolated attacks, eight killed by herdsmen and seven people through extrajudicial killings.
“It is extremely worrying and affecting everybody,” said Ier Jonathan, a member of the Nigeria Mourns coalition.
“Those in leadership positions should not think they are immune. We should all be scared and keep working to find a lasting solution.”
She further explained that the aim of the monthly report is not to criticise the government but to ensure that authorities act.
For years, Nigerians have been through a roller coaster of emotions as insecurity continues to worsen across the country. While citizens have repeatedly called for the replacement of service chiefs, President Muhammadu Buhari did not subscribe to their demands.
Although Mr. Buhari’s senior media aide, Femi Adesina, among other aides have claimed that the current administration is winning the war against insecurity, but Mr. Buhari himself in his new year message delivered on January 1, 2021, admitted that insecurity is affecting the growth of the country.
He promised to re-energise and reorganize “the security apparatus and personnel of the armed forces and the police with a view to enhance their capacity to engage, push back and dismantle the operations of both internal and external extremist and criminal groups waging war against our communities in some parts of the country.”
“Insecurity as a challenge has direct repercussions on our national economic stability, growth, and development, setting us back at critical points through the destruction of public and private investments.
“In parts of the country where chronic poverty, social exclusion, and disillusionment among sections of the youth were already a problem, the cycles of violence that have been unleashed by mindless groups like Boko Haram and others have thwarted the efforts of (the) government to undertake the social policy and associated investments that could make a huge difference in the quality of life of our citizens,” he said at the time.