The insecurity across Nigeria continued last week as the number of people killed by non-state actors increased compared to the previous week.
No fewer than 47 Nigerians were killed by non-state actors in various attacks across the country last week (October 17 to 23). The tally of casualties was compiled by PREMIUM TIMES from media reports. Thus, unreported cases were not included.
The victims include two traditional rulers and a soldier. The remaining were civilians.
The number of people killed signifies an increase of about 50 per cent when compared to the previous week where 31 persons, including 10 soldiers were killed.
While the number of people killed increased, there was a decline in the number of incidents. Only four incidents were recorded in the week under review.
Over 90 per cent of the reported killings were carried out in the North-west zone by bandits while others were carried out in other parts of the country.
Here are the cases compiled from media reports last week.
43 in Sokoto
The terrorists stormed the market around 5 p.m. while shooting sporadically at traders and buyers.
According to reports, the bandits operated for close to two hours without any resistance from security forces, who could not be informed of the attack as a result of the shutdown of telecoms in the area. While officials said 43 people were killed, a report said the casualty was at least 62.
The attack was condemned by many Nigerians with President Muhamadu Buhari threatening ‘ultimate destruction‘ of the perpetrators and other armed groups in the region.
Two traditional rulers in Imo
Tragedy struck in Imo State on Tuesday evening as gunmen opened fire on traditional rulers during a meeting, killing two of them.
The traditional rulers were having a stakeholders’ meeting at Nnenasa, the headquarters of Njaba Local Government Area when the hoodlums struck.
Many other traditional rulers at the meeting were left with various degrees of injuries.
Imo has been the most affected by attacks by suspected members of the ESN, the armed wing of the outlawed separatist group, IPOB.
The Nigerian government said on Friday that at least 175 security officials have been killed by suspected IPOB members in Imo and other states in the South-east and South-south regions of Nigeria.
IPOB has, however, denied responsibility for most of the attacks.
One in Kwara
The Kwara State Police Command confirmed the killing of an Ilorin-based estate agent identified as Sina Babarinde.
The spokesperson of the command, Okasanmi Ajayi, who confirmed the incident on Monday, said that the deceased was reportedly shot dead by gunmen during a church service at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Living Word Parish, Basin Road, Ilorin.
According to him, the incident happened during the 7:00 a.m. church service of the RCCG.
One soldier in Imo
There was tension in Etekuru, in the Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State on Wednesday when soldiers and youth in the community clashed.
The report said that a soldier had earlier been ambushed and killed, while his rifle was stolen.
In a reprisal, soldiers invaded the community and burnt houses which led to the clash between the two groups.
Security Expert reacts
A security expert, Davidson Akhimen, suggested that the mass killing in Sokoto by bandits was out of frustration.
He said the killings were done to get back at the government because the telecommunications shut down has affected the operation of the bandits.
“I think the government is already working in the right direction especially by disconnecting the digital connection that allows bandits and kidnappers to communicate with the relations of their victims.
“So it puts them in disarray and they will not be able to communicate between themselves and coordinate their activities, I think that is a very big step that the government has taken and as a result they have been recording successes.
“The killings you are seeing now is as a result of fury on the part of the bandits, seeing that the government has already gotten a upper hand on the matter. So annoyance, fury is what is leading them to kill their victims. But this is going to be short-lived as government forces are pressing harder towards achieving total victory,” Mr Akhimen said.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how some banditry kingpins were relocating to Sokoto following a clampdown by security forces on their former bases in Zamfara.
A few months after a notorious bandit, Bello Turji, fled his base in Zamfara State to Tozai in Sokoto, another outlaw, Halilu Sububu, also moved his headquarters to a forest in Sokoto.
Apart from Zamfara and Sokoto, other North-west and North-central states affected by banditry include Katsina, Kaduna and Niger.
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