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Over 600 deaths recorded in North-East within six months, Borno ranks top


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NORTH-EAST Nigeria has recorded at least 612 deaths from the month of June to November 27, data gathered by the Nigeria Security Tracker, NST, has shown.

The deaths from the affected states – Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba were as a result of banditry, kidnapping, communal clashes and Boko Haram insurgency in the region.

While 233 state actors such as security operatives and government officials were killed within the six months period, 379 civilians from the region lost their lives to insecurity.

Based on data gathered from the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), an initiative of the Council on Foreign Relations (cfr), Borno state recorded the highest mortality with 534 total deaths (231 state actors and 303 civilians).

From the figure, Boko Haram insurgency was responsible for more than 50 percent of the casualties put at 534 deaths.

In Bauchi, only 13 deaths were recorded. Though none of the killings was attributed to the insurgency, they were a result of the communal crisis and political clash.

Gombe recorded no deaths within the period.

Data on Deaths in the North East
Data on Deaths in the North East
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However, Yobe, Adamawa and Taraba recorded multiple deaths due to insurgency, banditry and kidnapping.

In Adamawa for instance, a total of 27 people were killed in six months due to insecurity.

One of such killings in Adamawa occurred in June. On June 9, about 23 bodies were recovered after a communal clash between the Lunguda and Waja tribes in Zakawon community, Lamurde Local Government Area of the state. Houses were burnt and domestic animals and foodstuffs were also destroyed.

Suleiman Nguroje, former spokesperson of the state police command later confirmed the arrest of 32 persons accused of the crime.

While death was recorded in Yobe state within the period, Taraba had a much higher casualty figure of 37 civilian deaths.

One of the Taraba killings involved the attack on Emmanuel Bileya, a clergy at Christian Reformed Church-Nigeria (CRC-N) and his wife, Juliana while the two were working on their farmland in Mararaba, Donga LGA.

“killings of this nature have happened too often recently in Southern Taraba communities…,” Bala Dan Abu, Media aide to Darius Ishaku, the state governor,  stated while reacting to the incident.

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Killings too many

The series of reported killings in the country has sadly become a source of worry to Nigerians and the international community. However, the above casualty data excludes the slaughtering of over 40 farmers in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, as widely reported last Saturday. The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon later pegged the casualty figure to 110 victims.

Despite the public reactions the incident generated, no official statement has been issued by the security authorities.

The ICIR earlier reported the silence of the Nigerian Army and the Police over the incident. But hours after the incident, President Muhammadu Buhari reacted, describing the killings as insane and senseless.

“I condemn the killing of our hardworking farmers by terrorists in Borno State. The entire country is hurt by these senseless killings. My thoughts are with their families in this time of grief. May their souls Rest In Peace,” Buhari stated in a statement released by Garba Shehu, his spokesperson.

Meanwhile, beyond attacks on civilian populations in the country, the military is not excluded in the seemingly continued attacks that have led to the deaths of several military personnel.

The Federal Government has continued to insist it is winning the battle over the insurgents but the current reality cast doubts on this claim.

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Beyond the North-East area, other regions in the country have witnessed one form of insecurity or the other.

The most recent in the South-West, for instance, is the killing of Oba Gbadebo Ogunsakin, the traditional ruler of Odo-Oro in Ikole Local Government of Ekiti State.

Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Email address: [email protected] Twitter handle: @OluAdanikin

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