INSECURITY IN NORTHERN NIGERIA; NIGERIA'S EXPANDING MENACE
The unusual rise in insecurity in Northern Nigeria is a major cause for worry for both the Federal Government and Nigerians.
Nigeria’s Northern States has become the epicentre and focal point where Boko Haram terrorists have wreaked havoc in the past ten years.
In the last two months, there has been unending butchering of lives, increased kidnappings, burning of farmlands, and cattle rustling.
The inability of the Federal Government and security operatives in these regions to appropriately stop this menace has increased the fear and worries of Nigerians.
On July 29th, 2020, Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, a Nigerian Army commander alleged that the Military does not have enough manpower to combat the Boko Haram assailants.
The lack of manpower has prevented the adequate deployment of security personnel to vulnerable communities in the north as witnessed in the recent killings in Sokoto, Katsina and Southern Kaduna.
The Military has however responded by saying they have killed over 80 bandits in the last one month in Katsina, Kaduna, and Zamfara.
The inability of the Nigerian Government to address these needs to an appreciable level will continually result in high-cost consequences for our people.
Anietie Ewang, a Nigerian researcher at Human Rights Watch, has said the uprise in killings and insecurity witnessed in Northern Nigeria is instigated by the Government’s lackadaisical approach to completely exterminating these insurgents.
On 15th April 2014, terrorists abducted about 276 female students from a college in Chibok in Borno state.
The abduction was widely attributed to Boko Haram. It was reported that the assailants had taken the girls to neighbouring Cameroon and Chad where they were to be sold into marriages at a price below a Dollar.
Also, on 20th May 2014, two bombs in the city of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, were detonated, resulting in the deaths of at least 118 people and the injury of more than 56 others.
Boko Haram bombed a market in Gamboru, Borno, on 6th January 2020, killing at least 38 people.
They killed at least 30 people in Auno, Borno on 9th February 2020. They carried out massacres against the Chadian and Nigerian armies on 23rd March 2020.
Boko Haram killed 81 villagers in a mass shooting in Gubio, Borno State, on 9th June 2020.
Also, on July 30th, 2020, there were multiple bomb blasts in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, which claimed the lives of many and injured several others. Also, a bomb explosion killed a man and his wife in Maiduguri in the early hours of Sunda, August 2nd, 2020.
In the last two months, not less than 178 persons have been killed by Boko Haram insurgents in Southern Kaduna, according to data from Civic Media Lab’s life count.
Recently, a lawyer and his wife were also killed in cold blood in their homes by unknown gunmen.
The recent attack on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, is also further attestation to the unprecedented bloodshed in Northern Nigeria.
Recall that in 2015, President Buhari said he was going to do everything in his capacity to end the incessant bloodshed in the northern region that had claimed the lives of over 27,000 persons between 2011 and 2015 under the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
HAS THE PRESIDENT BUHARI ADMINISTRATION CURBED INSECURITY?
During the era of former President Goodluck Jonathan, between 2011 and 2015, Nigeria was massively hit by Boko Haram insurgency.
Nigerians criticised the high level of Governmental negligence from his Government as 1,096 persons lost their lives to Boko Haram terrorism in 2011. Alone.
The violence escalated dramatically in 2014, with 10,849 deaths, while Boko Haram drastically expanded its territories.
Below is an image showing the killings between 2011 and June 2020.
According to the Central Research in the USA, between May and December 2011, Boko Haram insurgents killed 1,096 persons in Northern Nigeria. In 2012, the death toll increased to 3,761 in 2012.
In 2013, the figure doubled, as 7,167 persons died from banditry attacks and insurgency.
In 2014, Nigeria experienced the highest death toll up till date from Boko Haram insurgency as 15,600 persons were massacred in Northern Nigeria.
Fast forward to the President Buhari era, 5,763 persons were killed in 2016, and 4,618 casualties were recorded in the year 2017, indicating a massive decline in the death toll that was recorded in the previous years of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
However, there was a spike in 2018 and 2019, as 5,655 and 8,850 persons died from Boko Haram insurgency respectively.
As of June 2010, 6,195 persons have died from the incessant terrorist attacks in Nigeria, and there is tendency of a massive increase before the year rounds up with increased banditry, communal fights, and herdsmen attack on innocent lives in Nigeria.
Also, it is pertinent to note that Boko Haram assailants had 20 local Government areas fully under their control under the Goodluck Jonathan era.
The coverage of their dominance has however reduced to just six Local Governments in 2020.
Government should begin to implement measures that would stop this menace, and ensure the security of Nigerians is intact, going forward.