© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
REPORT- With 46 casualties, Akwa Ibom, most violent state in Niger Delta
IN three months, a total of 46 people were reportedly killed in Akwa Ibom State, making the state the most with high cases of conflicts in the Niger Delta region in the second quarter of 2018, a report has revealed.
“In May, 30 fishermen were reportedly killed during renewed clash over boundary dispute between Oku-Iboku community in Itu Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State and neighboring Ikot Offiong community in Odukpani Local Government Area, Cross River State,” revealed Niger Delta Quarterly Conflict Trends report, published by the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND).
The report indicated that there was an increase in the level of lethal violence in the second quarter of 2018 in the Niger Delta, compared to the trend in the first quarter of the year.
The conflict trends which covered month of April to June, 2018 showed that a total of 46 people were killed in Akwa Ibom State in communal conflict, violent criminality, gang and cult clash and other forms of violence. There were also cases of kidnapping for ransom.
According to the report, insecurity in the region in Q2 2018 was driven mainly by criminality, communal conflict, and gang violence.
“Criminality was prevalent in the Niger Delta during the quarter, especially armed robbery and kidnapping for ransom,” the report revealed.
It also showed that the response of public security forces to the spate of organized criminality resulted in several fatalities during the period, particularly in Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and that gang/cult-related violence decreased significantly at the regional level, but it was prevalent in some states, particularly Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers, driven largely by rival cult clashes and supremacy battles among the numerous cult groups in the region, as well as general criminality.
Communal conflict over land disputes, the report emphasized, was widespread, resulting in over a hundred fatalities during the quarter, particularly in Cross River, Abia and Akwa Ibom states. Political violence, labour strikes/protests, mob violence, human trafficking and Violence Affecting Women and Girls (VAWG) were also prevalent during the period.
Based on reported fatalities, Akwa Ibom was the most violent state in the Niger Delta during the quarter. The most violent local government areas during the quarter were Arochukwu (Abia), Itu (Akwa Ibom), Oron (Akwa Ibom), Yenagoa (Bayelsa), Port Harcourt (Rivers), Emohua (Rivers), Ughelli North (Delta), Southern Ijaw (Bayelsa), Calabar Municipal (Cross River), and Akure North (Ondo).
Rivers State, however, was less violent in Q2 2018, compared to Q1 when it was the most violent state in the Niger Delta. Delta was the second most violent state in the Niger Delta during the period
Abia, Bayelsa, and Cross River states also recorded high deadly violent during the period.
The report said there was a decrease in conflict risk and lethal violence in Edo state in Q2 2018. Based on reported fatalities, Edo was the least violent state in the Niger Delta during the period. Etsako East, followed by Oredo Local Government Area had the highest levels of lethal violence and conflict risk in the state during the period.
Ondo was the second least violent state in the region in the second quarter of 2018
The ICIR reported that Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Rivers states were the most violent states in the Niger Delta region in 2017.
The Niger Delta comprises 185 out of the 774 local government areas and covers nine out of the 36 states of Nigeria: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.
With over 30 million people, according to a 2006 population census, and an estimated population density of 265 people per square kilometre, the region accounts for more than 23 per cent of Nigeria’s population.