The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has disclosed in a report that at least 60,000 people have been killed in Nigeria’s 18 northern states in the last 10 years due to insecurity.
In the report titled, “Multiple Nodes, Common Cause: National Stocktake of Contemporary Insecurity and State Responses in Nigeria,” the CDD said in the Northwestern states of Jigawa; Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto and, Zamfara about 14, 000 people lost their lives between 2011 and 2021.
According to the report which was signed by CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, researchersmeasured conflict related casualties in the North Central states of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger and, Plateau and revealed that around 11, 000 people were killed in the period under review, while about 35, 000 people were killed in Northeast states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe.
Tracing similar development and casualties across other geo-political zones, CDD in the report disclosed that similar development continued to fuel the ugly situation, especially, lack of education, absence of state actors, economic war, security forces, cultism, land use dispute, ethnicity, religion, failure of justice system, overstretched security forces and others.
In the South-South region of the country, sea piracy and robbery remained key concerns as illegal bunkering, political violence, herders/farmer clashes, oil spill, cultism, marginalisation, human trafficking, ritual killing are said to be fueling violence and insecurity.
According to the report, the growing insecurity and violence in the country were also fueled by shifting livelihoods, circulation of small arms and light weapons, corruption and inadequate access to justice, geographic and regional dynamics as well as ideological grievances.
The report noted the increasing prevalence of misinformation and disinformation across traditional and new media spheres, which may have deepened public anxiety and intergroup tensions about the mounting insecurity in the country and state responses to it.
In the Southeastern region, the report noted an approximate number of people killed as follows: 50 people were killed in 2011; 92 in 2012; 68 in 2013; 22 in 2014; 50 in 2015; 225 in 2016; 325 people in 2017; 160 people in 2018. In 2019 the figure stood at 114; 110 in 2020 and; settled at 647 in 2021.
The report revealed that the development equally traverses the Southwestern states, especially cases of herders/farmers clashes and political issues, leading to kidnapping, rape, arson as well as inert-communal unrest and division.
To address the prevailing situation, CDD said local, and national stakeholders would need to be willing to try new approaches to curtailing insecurity, stressing that the kinetic approaches favoured by the federal government may remain a mirage.
“Peace building interventions are urgently needed in most if not all geopolitical zones to improve community cohesion in conflict-affected areas,” the report stated. The body also called for further research to strengthen understanding of situation in the country, noting that arms flow throughout Nigeria remains imprecise and would benefit from more refined, local-level analysis and mapping of sources, destinations, and routes.
“Similarly, the relationship between narcotics production, consumption, and trafficking on the one hand and insecurity on the other remains largely subject to speculation. While militants are known to consume drugs (bandits, for example, consume notable quantities of Indian hemp and tramadol) it is worth interrogating whether production centres have also emerged within the country and whether bandits or other militants profit off the trans-shipment of narcotics through the country.”