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Fact-check: Data shows Yahaya Bello lied that APC- led Govt is securing Nigeria


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YAHAYA Bello, Governor of Kogi State, on November 19th, 2020, claimed that the All Progressive Congress (APC) -led government is securing Nigeria, stating that the achievement among others of the ruling party would stir them to victory in the 2023 general election.

He made this known when he appeared as a guest on Thursday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today.

FULL TEXT

“APC has come to stay. We are developing the country, the people are happy with our programmes, we are touching lives and we are securing the nation.”

CLAIM

That the APC-led government is securing the country

VERIFICATION

The ICIR conducted a review of the recent weekly update of data of Nigeria security situation by Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) of 4 consecutive weeks, October 20 to November 20, 2020.

Analysing the 4 reports ( week 1, 2, 3, and 4), 620 people were killed in 34 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as a result of various forms of violence across the country.

The reports gathered that a total of 293 were civilians, 64 security operatives, two were political actors and 20-year-old Pelumi Onifade, a journalist, was killed in custody by men of the Nigerian police. Other casualties included 128 Boko Haram members, 124 armed persons, eight robbers, two sectarian actors (2), and a kidnapper.

The highest death tolls were recorded in Borno (163), Katsina (72), Lagos (68), and Kaduna (64). They were followed by Zamfara (34), Edo (26), Cross River (18), Delta (15), Plateau (14), Yobe (12).

NST also noted that the bulk of deaths recorded in Lagos were as a result of the extrajudicial killings of peaceful protesters by men of the Nigerian Army and sponsored thugs during the height of the protest against police brutality in the state. 

In October, Nigerian youths across the country staged a renewed national protest against police brutality, especially the notoriety of the special anti-robbery squad, one of the tactical units of the Nigerian police force. The protest signalled the zero confidence Nigerians have in the country’s police force which is known for extortion, extra-judicial killings, and gross violation of human rights.

The peaceful protest, however, turned bloody when Nigerian security forces, including soldiers, opened fire on hundreds of protesters in Lagos.

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On kidnapping, the data revealed that in the same months under review,  a total of 224 people were kidnapped across 18 states.

The acts took place in Katsina (38), Nasarawa (30), Kaduna (27), Zamfara (23), and Edo (23). Following closely were Ondo with 29 cases, Niger (14), Borno (9), Benue (5), Cross River (5), and Delta (5). 

In addition, the northwestern part of the country is currently a hotbed for banditry and kidnapping activities. 

Data from Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS) also revealed that about 21 million people living in these states have been exposed to insecurity from activities of bandits. Banditry violence began as a farmer/herder conflict in 2011 and intensified between 2017 to 2018 to include cattle rustling, kidnapping for ransom, sexual violence and killings.

The violence has affected about 35 out of 92 local government areas in the 4 states. The discovery of gold mines and the activities of illegal miners competing for the control of gold reserves have served to further intensify the existence and activities of armed groups in the northwest. By March 2020, more than 210,000 people have been internally displaced. More than 35,000 refugees have crossed communal borders to Maradi in the Niger Republic by the beginning of March 2020.

Similarly, Nigeria retained its seat as the third country with the worst impact of terrorism for six consecutive times globally, the 2020 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report stated. Even though terror-related deaths declined to 1,245 in 2019, Boko Haram recorded an increase in their activities targeted at civilians.  

Terror-related deaths and incidents attributed to Boko Haram in Nigeria increased by 25 and 30 percent respectively from the prior year. Over the past year, Boko Haram increased attacks on military targets, with deaths rising from 26 in 2018 to 148 in 2019.

An attack on Rann, Borno, on January 28, 2019, by Boko Haram terrorists which left at least 60 people flowing in the pool of their blood while dozens were reported missing in the attack made one of the worst attacks in 2019.

The group was also responsible for Nigeria’s deadliest terrorist attack in 2019 when assailants attacked a funeral in Badu, Borno State. At least 70 people were killed and 10 others were wounded in the attack and ensuing clash.

According to the report, Fulani extremists were responsible for 26 percent of terror-related deaths in Nigeria at 325 fatalities. The majority of terrorist activity related to Fulani extremists occurred in the states of Kaduna, Plateau and Benue. Of the 111 attacks attributed to Fulani extremists, over 59 were armed assaults.

In its latest tragic strike, Boko Haram at least beheaded 110 farmers who were working on their rice fields in Zabarmari, Maiduguri. It was gathered that the farmers were tied up and had their throats slit by the Assailants, making murder the most “insane” attacks on civilians this year.

This came a month after Boko Haram militants slaughtered 22 farmers working on their irrigation fields near Maiduguri, in two separate attacks. 

Verdict

Yahaya Bello lied. The above findings show that Yahaya Bello’s claim that the APC-led government is securing the country is false.

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The report was produced during the 2020 Dubawa Fellowship attended by the reporter. 

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