June is deadliest month yet in 2020 with 771 Nigerians killed–Report

June is deadliest month yet in 2020 with 771 Nigerians killed–Report

Insecurity worsens with more violent attacks

•Northwest terrorists responsible for 309 deaths, Northeast Jihadists killed 215 in one month

By Godsgift Onyedinefu

Insecurity in Nigeria took an alarming toll in June with at least 731 innocent citizens killed in violent attacks compared to 356 killed in the previous month particularly in northern Nigeria, a new report has shown.

The report noted that the security situation worsened and killings continued unabated despite claims by Nigeria’s security agencies of successfully repelling organized criminal groups, killing over 166 terrorists in June.

These killings in a single month, the report shows, is also higher than the total number of deaths from COVID-19 put together.

A breakdown of the report released by NigeriaMourns on Thursday, revealed that that 309 deaths were attributed to banditry attacks, terrorist attacks accounted for 215 deaths, while the number of killings by Boko Haram took an alarming turn, compared to 27 deaths the previous month.

Whilst juxtaposing the violent killings in 2019 and the trajectory of killings in 2020, the report disclosed that in 2019, Nigeria lost 3,188) lives to mass violence, and in just the first half of 2020, we have lost at least 2,503 persons.

The analysis depicts the spike of mass killings in the first half of 2020 and warns of  an exponential rise for the second half of the year if the killings remain unabated.

“Particularly devastating was Boko Haram’s attack on Gubio, Borno state, which led to 81 deaths. It took less than two hours for the attacking gunmen to kill more people in than Covid-19 reportedly had in the past 3 months throughout the state. As at the time of documentation, 34 deaths had been attributed to Covid-19 in Borno”, the report read.

The report notes that a little over  590 lives have been lost to Covid-19 since its first recorded case in Nigeria in March, but said at least seven 731 lives were lost to insecurity in June alone in spite of the number of years and resources annually deployed to security in Nigeria.

It warned that Nigeria is in an existential battle for its own soul and the factors that continue to contend against it have recently been further complicated by the Covid pandemic.

The report further notes that the onslaught against security forces also continued unabated.

“For instance, in a viral video, Boko Haram terrorists executed a soldier identified as Corporal Emmanuel Oscar, and a policeman, Inspector Yohanah Kilu. While they are tasked with the protection of lives and property, their own lives matter too and are deserving of protection.

“The continued trend in which security officers are ill equipped to ward off insurgent attacks remains unacceptable and in need of citizens demanding accountability”, the report read.

Other violent incidents within this period included, communal clashes, extrajudicial killings, and rival cult clashes.

Below are highlights of incidents that occurred in the past month:

Banditry/Pillages

Bandits attacked villages in Talata Marafa and Maru Local Government Areas of Zamfara State killing twenty-five (25) people.

In another incident, Approximately two hundred (200) armed men stormed Kadisau village, Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State killing not less than forty (40) persons in the attack. They sacked the entire village, destroyed, looted shops, and rustled an unspecified number of cattle.

Two days later, eighteen (18) people were killed in separate attacks by bandits across five communities (Kadisau, Kabalawa, Kwakware, Unguwar Wahabi, and Raudama) in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

In a similar fashion, armed men killed at least twenty-three (23) people in an attack on Ruwan-Tofa community in Dansadau district of Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

Boko Haram/ISWAP

Thirteen (13) people were killed in seperate attacks across four local government councils – Kwabula, Kondori, Ali Gambori in Askira-Uba, Konduga, and Nganzai – of Borno State.

At least six (6) soldiers were killed and 45 others were reported missing after an attack on Auno military base, 15 miles from Maiduguri, Borno state.

In the deadliest attack of the month, eighty-one (81) persons were found dead after dozens of terrorists invaded Zowo, Gubio Local Government Area of Borno State.

Days later, Boko Haram terrorists attacked Monguno and Nganzai local government areas, killing twenty (20) soldiers and more than forty (40) civilians respectively.

Extrajudicial killings

In Maiha Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Arabo Dauda, a 20-year-old motorcyclist, was shot dead by a policeman over his refusal to give N100 bribe.

One person was reported killed and four others injured after soldiers of the Nigerian army attached to the 7 Division attacked officials of the COVID-19 Committee over a heated argument, this incident occurred at Auno checkpoint in Borno State.

A family of four (4) and two (2) others were killed in Donga, Taraba State by soldiers during a raid on the Tse-Juku community to repel militia attacks.

The alarming trend of security agencies attacking one another played out again when seven (7) policemen attached to the Bayelsa State Police Division were shot dead during a clash with the Delta State SARS operatives. It will be recalled that in the month of May, we recorded an incident where a trigger-happy policeman had killed his colleague at Ikoyi, Lagos. In June, another drunken Police Sergeant was arrested for allegedly killing an Inspector, simply identified as Inspector Adekunle.

Nigerian Security Forces

While the death toll from violent attacks have steadily reason in the past few months, Nigeria’s security agencies  have also claimed the successful repeal of organized criminal groups, and have announced killing166 terrorists.

Borno: Ngala (24) Damboa (20) Bama (20) Gwoza (20)

Zamfara: Zurmi (40) Kwayanbana forest(10) Birnin-Magaji/Kiyaw (10) Tsafe (2)

Katsina: Faskari (10)

Taraba: Wukari/Donga (4)

Plateau: Quan’an Pan (3)

Benue: Guma (2)               Adamawa: Madgali (1)

Summary 

The numbers and incidences of organized mass killings in June underscore the frailty of security in Nigeria, it foreshadows the vulnerability of Nigerians and the widespread terrorism nationwide. Three hundred and nine (309) deaths were attributed to banditry attacks, while terrorist attacks accounted for two hundred and fifteen (215) deaths. The number of killings by Boko Haram took an alarming turn, compared to twenty-seven (27) deaths the previous month.

The onslaught against security forces has also continued unabated. While, we might share numbers, it is critical to remember that these officers were Nigerians too with identities and families. For instance, in a viral video, Boko Haram terrorists executed a soldier identified as Corporal Emmanuel Oscar, and a policeman, Inspector Yohanah Kilu.While they are tasked with the protection of lives and property, their own lives matter too and are deserving of protection. The continued trend in which security officers are ill equipped to ward off insurgent attacks remains unacceptable and in need of citizens demanding accountability.

Nigeria is in an existential battle for its own soul. The factors that continue to contend against it have recently been further complicated by the Covid pandemic. Interestingly,  while a little over five hundred and ninety (590) lives have been lost to Covid-19 since its first recorded case in Nigeria in March ; at least seven hundred and thirty-one (731) lives were lost to insecurity in a single month in spite of the number of years and resources annually deployed to security in Nigeria.

Whilst juxtaposing the violent killings in 2019 and the trajectory of killings in 2020, we observed an increase.In 2019, Nigeria lost three thousand, one hundred and eighty-eight (3188) lives to mass violence, and in just the first half of 2020, we have lost at least Two thousand, five hundred and three (2,503) persons.

The analysis above depicts the spike of mass killings in the first half of the year(2020) and predicts an exponential rise for the second half of the year if the killings remain unabated.

A critical question therefore is how best can Nigerians hold  government accountable  to fulfilling its constitutional obligations to ensure the security and welfare of all Nigerians from insecurity and the virus – both of which are inimical to the peace, unity and progress of Nigeria?

Credit: Global Sentinel

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