No fewer than 3,478 Nigerians have been killed while 2,256 others were kidnapped across the country from December 2021 to June 15, 2022.
According to a tally collated by The PUNCH, the data captured included those killed by non-state actors such as terrorists, bandits, gunmen, armed robbers, cultists and security operatives, among others.
The figures were obtained from the daily incidents recorded by the Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations, an American think-tank, during the period under review.
A monthly breakdown showed that in December 2021, no fewer than 342 innocent Nigerians were killed while 397 were abducted. Those killed in the month included 45 farmers in Nasarawa. Also, 34 women were abducted in Zamfara.
In January, at least 844 people were killed and 603 abducted by non-state actors. Prominent among the incidents that happened during the month was the bandits’ attack on Zamfara communities where over 200 residents were killed. Also, suspected bandits reportedly killed 220 persons and kidnapped 200 others in Niger state.
In February, at least 495 persons were killed, while 326 were kidnapped. In the month, bandits attacked a Zamfara community for failing to pay a N40 million levy and killed 33 victims.
Also, terrorists killed 44, and abducted 31 others in Niger communities.
In March, 606 innocent lives were lost while 450 were abducted. The incidents included the murder of 63 vigilantes in Kebbi state by terrorists and attacks by suspected herdsmen in reprisal which claimed over 26 lives in Taraba.
In April, 530 people were killed by non-state actors and 79 were kidnapped. In May, 395 were murdered while 178 persons were reportedly abducted.
Between June 1 and 15, a total of 266 individuals have so far been killed with 223 persons kidnapped.
Our correspondents observed that bandits and terrorists were largely responsible for the abduction and killings recorded in the North-central region, North-West and North-East.
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In the South-West and South-South, the perpetrators were identified as cultists, suspected herdsmen and gunmen, while in the South-East, the number of deaths and abductions were mostly caused by the Indigenous People of Biafra and its militia wing, Eastern Security Network.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi told one of our correspondents that he would comment on the rising crime incidents later.
Reacting to the security crisis in the country, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, led by its President, Bishop Wale Oke, condemned the incessant killings and kidnappings.
The PFN spokesman, Simbo Olorunfemi said, “The nation is in pain. We are concerned about the security situation in the country. These killings and kidnappings are anomalies, and we urge Nigerians to put their heads together to find a way out of the embarrassing situation and pray to God for His Divine intervention.
“We’re tired of condolence messages from the present administration, rather they need to take decisive steps to end banditry and terrorism.
We will not be partisan, however, we will not go to sleep. As it has been earlier reported, we’ve declared June 26th as ‘PVC Sunday’, in which prayers will be offered and communion administered to worshippers in Pentecostal churches across the nation.
“We, therefore, call on all Christians to ensure that they get their Permanent Voter Cards, and follow clear directives in collaboration with the Christian Association of Nigeria, from Christian fathers on the casting of their votes.”
Advising the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), a security expert and former Director-General of the State Security Service, Mike Ejiofor, noted that the creation of state and local police and the employment of modern technology would help reduce the rate of insecurity.
He said, “The rate of killings and kidnappings in the country is disturbing. Although, the security agencies are trying their best; however, their best is not enough. The security situation is very worrisome. People are dying and getting kidnapped due to insecurity.
A security analyst, Mr Patrick Agbambu, said that citizens needed to work in tandem with the government and security agents in the fight against insecurity.
When contacted, the Force spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, who cited his busy schedule, stated, “I will make an official statement on this later as I have been on the move since. I just left Ekiti today, and I’m heading to Kano for a programme.”