Over 140 Nigerians killed in violent attacks last week

Nigerian Army fighting Boko Haram
Nigerian Army

The past week witnessed several killings in various violent attacks across Nigeria.

A PREMIUM TIMES analysis revealed that over 140 people were killed in separate attacks by armed men, with many others injured.

Many houses and other properties were also torched in the attacks.

The data for this report were gathered from newspaper publications where cases were confirmed by police, defence headquarters, government officials or families of the victims.

Sunday:

PREMIUM TIMES reported that gunmen attacked three communities in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.

The attack was confirmed by the state’s police spokesperson, Catherine Anene, who could not establish the number of casualties in the onslaught.

One of the locals, who simply gave his name as Jonah, named the villages as Torkula, Kponko and Kaseyo, all in Mbadwem council ward. He said that the invaders stormed the villages and started shooting in all directions, thereby killing people and injuring others in the process.

It was also reported that Nigerian troops in a clearance operation against cattle rustlers and criminals killed three bandits and captured four others in a cordon and search operation at Yauyau and Zandam villages in Zamfara state.

According to a statement by the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, John Enenche, items recovered from the bandits include: seven dane guns, three cell phones and two motorcycles.

In Rivers State, an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) was killed by unknown gunmen. The security agency’s spokesperson, Ekunola Gbenga, on Sunday, said Godwin Mbula, a chief corps assistant, was lynched by men “suspected to be oil bunkerers (thieves).” He said they went to the “manifold known as Gio to siphon oil, but were resisted by the NSCDC men guiding the manifold”.

Tuesday

Residents of Yantumaki community in Danmusa Local Government Area of Katsina, on Tuesday, went on the streets to protest against insecurity after the district head of the community, Atiku Abubakar, was shot dead by gunmen at his residence.

A health personnel, identified as Mansir Yusuf, and his daughter were also kidnapped in the community. The protesters, mostly youth and underage children, blocked highways, castigating the government over security negligence.

“Gunmen killed our district head, and came back again. This means that they will be coming, since they are not facing any challenge anytime they carry attacks. The government needs to do the needful before the situation went out of control,” a senior community leader said.

The worst of last week’s bloody incident was recorded in Borno on Tuesday afternoon after terrorists attacked Gubio and killed no fewer than 81 people. Also, seven persons, including a village head, were abducted by the insurgents with 13 others injured.

READ ALSO: Alleged terrorism: FG arraigns alleged Taraba kidnap kingpin, Wadume, six others

In a separate attack, armed men killed no fewer than 20 people in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State. The police spokesperson in Katsina, Gambo Isah, told PREMIUM TIMES that the attack occurred in Kadisau community when the bandits arrived on over 200 motorcycles.

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“The bandits attempted to loot food items. However, the residents resisted their attempt. As a result, the gunmen opened fire and killed 14 residents on the spot. 26 were also injured. Among the injured victims, six died on Wednesday morning. We recorded 20 deaths, and 20 injuries during the unfortunate incident,” Mr Isah said.

Wednesday

The police in Adamawa State on Wednesday announced the arrest of 32 suspects involved in a communal clash in the state. It erupted over a land dispute between Lunguda and Waja communities in Guyuk and Lafiya Lamurde local government areas of the state

The police spokesman in the state, Suleiman Nguroje, who confirmed the arrest over the latest round of violence, said many houses and valuables were destroyed, forcing residents to flee the affected communities.

Gunmen on Wednesday morning killed two people and abducted several others along the Lokoja – Abuja expressway. It occurred at about 7:00 a.m. between Acheni and Gegu villages in Kogi State.

The governor, Yahaya Bello, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mohammed Onogwu, confirmed the incident.

Friday

A breakaway faction of Boko Haram released a video showing the execution of a soldier and a police officer. In the 49 seconds video, the two security personnel who were abducted the previous week while travelling between Maiduguri and Monguno introduced themselves after which they were summarily shot dead.

According to the slain security personnel, they were on a trip from Maiduguri to Monguno when they were ambushed and abducted by the insurgents whom they described as “Tilafa army”.

One of the slain personnel who spoke in Hausa said, “my name is Yohanah Kilus, I am a policeman, my rank is Inspector, I was abducted between Maiduguri and Monguno; I am presently in the custody of Tilafa soldiers.”

The second abducted personnel said: “I am 13NA/70/8374, Lance Corporal Emmanuel Oscar, I was captured by Tilafa’s along Maiduguri to Monguno.”

Shortly after that, the video showed two armed men pointing AK47 rifles at the two personnel kneeling with their faces blindfolded. Shots were simultaneously fired and the two security personnel were killed.

Saturday

Early Saturday morning, bandits murdered the village head of Mazoji in Matazu Local Government Area of Katsina State, Dikko Usman.

The Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Masari on security, Ibrahim Katsina, confirmed the incident. Witnesses said the bandits stormed Mazoji village in large numbers on motorcycles, armed with weapons late Friday night, and operated till early Saturday morning when the village head was killed.

Also, one person was confirmed dead and many others injured after Nigerian soldiers attacked officials of the COVID-19 Committee in Borno State. The soldiers, disregarding the ongoing interstate travel ban, forced their way through the entrance gate to Borno and allowed hundreds of illegal travelers into the town.

The armed personnel, who arrived in three gun trucks, allegedly threatened to open fire on the COVID-19 committee members led by the state attorney general and a commissioner of health.

While breaking through the barricade, the soldiers rammed through a patrol truck of the State Rapid Response Squad which forced the vehicle somersaulting in the bush. All local security personnel in the vehicle sustained injuries. The driver of the RRS truck died hours later at the Borno Specialist Hospital.

The soldiers also knocked down some commercial tricycles (Keke Napep). Three women, including a pregnant woman and a baby, sustained fractures.

– Members of ISWAP, a breakaway faction of Boko Haram, on Saturday staged another deadly attack on a village in Gubio local government killing at least 31 residents and injuring many others, security sources told PREMIUM TIMES Sunday.

This occurred less than four days after a similar attack in Gubio caused 81 deaths.

“They went there at about the time Monguno was being attacked and opened fire on the residents killing about 31 persons. We are not sure if the number would be more than that because we learned that some people fled into the bushes and the insurgents went shooting after them,” Malam Buni, a local vigilante official, said.

Also on Saturday, a student identified as Grace Oshiagwu was reportedly raped and killed in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the third in the state in two weeks.

The deceased, 21, was a National Diploma student of The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki. The incident was confirmed by residents of the area and the police who only confirmed her murder.

Katsina residents blocks highway protest insecurity
Katsina residents blocks highway protest insecurity

The attack on Ms Oshiagwu happened on Saturday at Idi-ori Area, off Shasha Expressway, Akinyele Local Government Area in Ibadan.

Disturbed Nigerians

Many Nigerians have taken to social media to express their displeasure over the security challenges the country is facing.

For Shehu Sani, a former Kaduna senator, that most of the killings occurred in Northern Nigeria should be of concern to leaders from that part of the country.

Mr Sani suggested that Northern leaders were reluctant to criticise President Muhammadu Buhari like they did his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, when the security situation deteriorated.

“Mass killings in Borno and the North West and the North is quiet. No Northern youths to condemn the FG; No Northern Islamic Clerics to allege genocide. No Northern Christian Clerics to allege conspiracy. No Northern Governors forum to fault security chiefs and the Federal Government. No Arewa forum to call for resignation of those with the responsibility to protect. No Emirs and Chiefs to “urge on the Government to wake up”. No legislators to call a spade a spade.”

“The Lions who roared in the defence of the North under the fisherman from the creeks have lost their voices under the Horseman from the Sahel,” he wrote.

Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview on Saturday, an activist, Ayo Aribisala, said President Muhammadu Buhari refused to live up to expectations.

“Five years after taking charge, Buhari’s administration refused to take responsibility. He once called Boko Haram cowards before he was elected in 2015. It is so glaring to Nigerians that the insurgents are not cowards but Buhari himself. Enough of English like insecurity is tactically or technically defeated. Nigerians will know themselves without plenty English when the country is secured.

Worried UN

Not pleased with the recent attacks especially that of Tuesday that claimed the lives of 81 civilians in Borno, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said on Thursday that he was “gravely concerned”.

He described the attack as “deadliest recorded in north-central Borno State since July 2019.”

Boko Haram has killed some Nigerian citizens
Boko Haram used to illustrate the story.

Mr Kallon said the incident has sent “shockwaves across the humanitarian community working to provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable in Borno State.”

“I am also troubled by the widespread practice by non-state armed groups of setting up illegal checkpoints along main supply routes, which heighten risks for civilians to be abducted, killed or injured.

“Aid workers are directly impacted and the humanitarian community is disturbed by the news of possible abductions, including that of a camp manager from the Borno State Emergency Management Agency working in the northern Borno State town of Monguno, where tens of thousands of civilians are desperately in need of humanitarian assistance,” he said.

Concerned lawmakers

The leadership of the National Assembly on Thursday met with heads of security agencies in the country over the spate of insecurity in the country.

After the meeting, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said any of the service chiefs who is found to have performed less than expectations, despite adequate provisions, should be sacked. He said the lawmakers resolved to schedule a meeting between the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari.

Insurgence, banditry downgraded

Despite the attacks, in his Democracy Day speech on Friday, Mr Buhari said his administration has been able to stem insecurity and its attendant threat to food security in Northeast Nigeria.

He also said most of the local government areas that were, prior to his administration, under the control of outlawed armed groups like Boko Haram, have been reclaimed and displaced residents have returned to their homes.

Mr Buhari said his government, in the area of security in the past five years, “remain(s) unshaken” in its “resolve to protect our national infrastructure including on-shore and off-shore oil installations, secure our territorial waters and end piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

The broadcast came hours after ISWAP circulated the video footage showing the execution of the abducted soldier and police officer.



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