At least 103 people were killed by non-state actors in Nigeria last week (March 6-12), a PREMIUM TIMES review of media reports shows
Last week’s killings indicate a massive increase of over 900 percent when compared to the previous week when 10 persons were killed. The figure for the previous week was the lowest in 2022.
Out of the 103 people who were killed, 24 were security personnel consisting of 18 soldiers and six police officers while the remaining 79 were civilians.
Most of the killings occurred in Kebbi State, North-west Nigeria, while others were recorded in few other states.
No incident was recorded in Zamfara, Sokoto and Niger states, which are, arguably, the epicenter of banditry in the country.
PREMIUM TIMES compiled the incidents from media reports. Thus, unreported cases are not included.
Below are the recorded incidents:
Two in Kaduna
Gunmen killed two people and abducted a Catholic cleric, Joseph Akeke, at Kudendan community in Kaduna State.
The incident happened around 1 a.m. Tuesday when the gunmen invaded the community.
82 in Kebbi
At least 63 vigilantes from five communities of Kebbi State were confirmed dead after bandits ambushed them Sunday evening.
Traditional rulers of two of the affected communities told BBC Hausa that the vigilantes were ambushed while chasing the bandits who had attacked the communities.
But two additional sources who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES from Sakaba Local Government Area of the state said the number of casualties was higher.
Two days after, the outlaws on Tuesday again killed 18 soldiers and six policemen in the entourage of the Kebbi State deputy governor, Samaila Yombe, in Kanya in Dangu Wasagu Local Government Area of the state.
The latest incident occured during a visit by the deputy governor to areas in the state affected by banditry.
About 13 soldiers and six policemen died on the spot while the remaining five soldiers died while receiving treatment in the hospital.
12 in Katsina
The incident occurred Thursday morning, a few hours after soldiers serving in a joint security task force were withdrawn from the community, residents told PREMIUM TIMES.
Also in Katsina, five passengers lost their lives while three others were severely wounded when bandits opened fire on a moving vehicle on the Yan Tumaki – Danmusa road Saturday morning.
Danmusa local government area is one of the most vulnerable areas in the state it terms of bandits attacks. It shares boundaries with the dreaded Rugu forest and areas like Safana, Kankara and communities from Zamfara state.
One in Ogun
Some yet to be identified assailants on Monday set ablaze the Baale of Olowe Gbagura in Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State, Akin Muheedeen.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the community head had just returned from observing the Islamic morning prayer when assailants set him on fire.
Put an end
While reacting to the incidents in Kebbi State, President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, condemned the killings.
He vowed to put an end to the killings by bandits in the North-west, which has fast taken over from the insurgency in the North-east.
“The brutal murder of tens of vigilante members in Kebbi State by bandits who ambushed them in the Sakaba/Wassagu Local Government Area is saddening.
“This egregious level of criminality is shocking and I want to assure Nigerians that I will do all it takes to tackle this monster decisively.
“My greatest preoccupation is the threat to life posed by these murderous gangs and remorseless outlaws who have no slightest regard for the sanctity of life.
“While extending my sympathy to the families of the victims of this savagery, let me use this opportunity to also call on our security forces to be more proactive and redouble their efforts in order to frustrate the operational plans of the terrorists even before they launch attacks,” the president said.
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