By Steven Kefas
Armed attacks and killings in Nigeria reached a disturbing height in the first half of the year 2021 according to a report from the International Foundation for Peace Building and Social Justice.
Data contained in the report revealed that 3,186 people were killed between January and June 2021. It also revealed that 2,963 persons were abducted while 161 were injured during various violent attacks across 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.
Over the last five years, there have 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 report says.
The Northwest region of Nigeria top the chart with Zamfara and Kaduna states recording more deaths in the region. Borno state in Northeast came second while North Central states of Benue, Niger and Plateau came third on the report. The report also claim that most of the Killings occurred in Christian communities.
The reason for these deaths is attributed to armed attacks and other violent crimes carried out on mostly agrarian communities .
The report stated that Fulani militias and Boko Haram terrorists were the key actors responsible for the killings in the period under review.
“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.”
Despite trillions of naira spent on security in the last 5 years, Nigerians have witnessed more deaths within this period than in any other period in it’s history with the exception of the civil war.
Several communities have been occupied by Fulani militias after killing and displacing original inhabitants from their lands. An occurrence many believe to be an act of genocide against indigenous tribes in the country.
The Katsina state Governor on Tuesday asked residents of the state to ‘defend themselves’ against bandits. Similar calls have gone out to Nigerians religious leaders, elder statesmen and leaders of thought.
In 2018, a former Chief of Defense Staff, General TY Danjuma Rtd during a presentation at a University in Taraba alleged a collusion between the security forces and the militias behind the Killings in the Middle Belt Region.
“The armed forces are not neutral; they collude with the armed bandits that kill people, kill Nigerians. They facilitate their movement. They cover them. If you are depending on the Armed Forces to stop the killings, you will all die one by one.” Danjuma said
Even though the Nigerian Army rejected the allegations, victims of such terror attacks have repeatedly indicted the army for complicity.
Just recently, in the Miango area of Plateau state, locals alleged that the military escorted the militias who attacked their communities.
The Southern Kaduna People Union ( SOKAPU) have also on several occasions alleged a collusion between the military sent to protect Southern Kaduna and the Fulani terrorists.