The state of insecurity in Nigeria witnessed a total number of 5,814 casualties under media-reported killings, with the North East, North West and North Central accounting for most of the media reported killings.
The states from the regions also represent the top 5 hotspots of media reported killings in Nigeria, according to data accumulated from geopolitical and socioeconomic research firm, SBM Intelligence, in its media reported killings report for Q1 and Q2 2021.
The period also saw a total number of 642 security personal reportedly killed within the period, a major blow in Nigeria’s efforts in fighting insecurity.
According to the reports, the top 5 states with the most reported killings in the media were:
Borno: 920 media reported killings, the state recorded 767 casualties in Q1 and 444, in Q2 2021. It also is the epicentre for Nigeria’s fight against ISWAP, which recently overpowered the assets of Boko Haram, leading to the suicide death of ex-Boko Haram lead, Abubakar Shekau.
Zamfara: 765, the North West state of Zamfara has been a major location for school kidnappings in Nigeria and also operations of Banditry, the state recorded 304 media killings in Q1, and 461 in Q2 2021.
Kaduna: 648, another state troubled by school kidnappings, and ethnic conflict which has displaced many farming communities in the southern part of the state due to attacks from herdsmen and bandits, the state recorded 473 media reported killings in Q1 2021 and 175 in Q2 2021.
Benue: 504, another state plagued by issues related to banditry and attacks by herdsmen, the state recorded 31 media reported killings in Q1 2021, and 473 in Q2 2021.
Niger: 458, the North Central state which shares boundary with Nigeria’s Federal Capital has witnessed a gradual rise in operations of non-state armed actors, which has seen media reported deaths rise from 182 in Q1 2021, to 276 in Q2 2021.
The Nigerian Government has employed many schemes in the fight against insecurity, including the Deep Blue Project to deal with piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, funding ranching schemes for willing states, and acquisition of military hardware.
Nairametrics recently reported that the National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, Retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno cited intelligence as an important driver of operations against insurgency and banditry in Nigeria, he said:
“For as long as an agent of government decides to franchise or eliminate the agent of community, then you are depriving yourself of the most important oxygen, which is intelligence from the local community.
“Intelligence is the driver of operation. No matter how much you spend on defence forces—land, air, maritime or police—if you lack the relevant intelligence, you will just be like three blind men operating in a dark environment.
“You can imagine what that will amount to.
“From the moment you get intelligence, if the operational elements do not respond with the speed required, that intelligence becomes stale and it compounds the problems that will come later.”
In July, President Buhari approved N6.25 billion to set up ranches in his home state, Katsina State, in a bid to reduce casualties in herdsmen and farmer issues.
Nairametrics also reported earlier this year that the FG announced the launch of the National Livestock Breed Improvement Programme (NALBIP), in a bid to reduce herdsmen/farmer clashes and also boost dairy cattle production in Nigeria.
Other states, especially in the South are dealing with the herder- insecurity issues with state open grazing bans. Lagos State, Nigeria’s economic capital also passed a bill prohibiting the open grazing of cattle in the state after unanimous votes by the state lawmakers.
Speaker of the Lagos House, Mudashiru Obasa earlier stated that the Prohibition of Open Cattle Grazing Bill would protect the state’s ecosystem and usher in an era of peace between farmers and herders. He added that the state plans to commence ranching services and would register herders.
“Allocating parcel of land is not enough but there should be a training of those who would go into ranching,” Obasa said.