RECORDS have shown that Ogun state has the highest number of deaths from violence in the last five months in the Southwest region of Nigeria.
The Southwest states are Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, and Oyo.
A total of 165 deaths were recorded from 122 incidents of violence that occurred in the region between January and May 2022.
The data figure is less than the number of deaths in the Southeast, which stands at 287 deaths from 154 incidents within the same period.
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Data obtained from the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) – a website that tracks violent incidents related to political, economic, and social grievances directed at the state or other affiliated groups – covers January to May 31 2022.
The deaths are mainly from cult-related activities, armed robbers, kidnappers, farmers/herders crisis and security operatives.
According to the data, there were 122 incidents within the period which resulted in 165 deaths.
Ogun state has the highest fatalities, with a total of 44 deaths within this period, with many of them linked to cult-related violence.
For instance, a supremacy fight between rival cult groups in the Sagamu area of the state led to the death of eight (8) people in March 2022.
In another incident, no fewer than five persons were killed and many others injured in a crisis between farmers and herders in the state.
Also, in the same state, on 24/10/2022, unknown gunmen assassinated a traditional ruler, Oba Ayinde Odetola, and four of his aides at Agodo village in the Ewekoro local government of the state.
Coming behind Ogun is Lagos state, with 37 deaths from violence within the period.
Lagos is the Nation’s commercial capital and has a vast population, so it is expected that security issues should be paramount.
The data shows that two people were killed and shops looted when hoodlums clashed on Lagos Island.
Similarly, two people were also killed in the Ebute Meta area when hoodlums engaged in violence during a clash.
Osun state is also on the list of states with a high number of deaths from violence, with 31 deaths within this period.
Four prison inmates were killed and a prison warder injured in an attempted jailbreak on January 4, 2022, in Ile Ife.
This led to the Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola ordering prison officials to employ ruthless measures in repelling attempts at jailbreaks in the country, including shooting offenders to death.
Five people also died, while seven were injured in Osun when rival cult groups clashed in late January 2022 in Ilesa East Local government area.
The death of ten people was also reported in the same state in February 2022 in another cult gang clash in Ilesa.
Osun state is followed by Ondo state with 24 deaths; this does not include the almost 38 people that died recently when gunmen suspected attacked St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo state. Oyo state has 28 and Ekiti one.
Herdsmen reportedly killed three people in Ose, Ondo state, in January 2021 and set the community ablaze.
Five people were also killed as suspected herdsmen attacked the Arimogija community in Ondo state.
In a single incidence in February 2022, in Oyo state, seven people lost their lives when armed robbers attacked a bullion van in Ibadan, killing three police officers and four others.
Some fleeing POS robbers also killed four motorcyclists chasing them in Ibadan on March 25, 2022.
Ekiti state has the lowest number of recorded death resulting from violence during this period.
Some gunmen killed a poultry farmer in Ago-Aduloju, Ado Ekiti, in March 2022.
A CDD report noted that the herders/farmers conflict and banditry are responsible for the violence in the North-West, terrorism and insurgence in the North-East, banditry and farmer/herders crisis in North-Central.
It further noted that in the South-South, South-East and South-West, the drivers of violence in the region are farmers/herders clashes, kidnapping, cult-related killings, ritual killing, and secessionist agitations.