• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Terrorists expand operations in Nigeria, over 800 persons killed in Sept – Report

Over 263 B/Haram terrorists surrender to troops

A new report has revealed a strategic expansion of the activities of the terrorist group, Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) beyond northeast region, the epicentre of its attacks.

The report titled ‘Nigeria Security Report’ and released by Beacon Consulting, a security risk management and intelligence consulting company, also revealed that violent attacks, abductions and fatalities increased in September compared to August 2022, despite the momentum of security forces’ operations.

According to the report, there were 528 incidents perpetrated by terrorists, bandits, and kidnappers, which resulted in 861 fatalities, 379 abductions across 185 local government areas in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The report noted that more than previously, ISWAP “is claiming responsibility for attacks outside its traditional areas of operation to include Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. This, according to the report, suggests a strategic plan to expand its operational base outside the northeast region.

The report informed that there have been 10 reported attacks claimed by ISWAP; two each in Kogi and Niger, and one each in Abuja, Edo, Kaduna, Kano, Ondo, and the Taraba States.

The report showed that fatalities rose by 0.2 percent from 859 percent recorded in August, but abductions dropped by 0.3 percent, while violent attacks decreased by 11.9 percent from 599 incidents recorded in August.

A breakdown of these incidents further indicated that 61.7 percent occurred in the northeast region (531 fatalities); 8.4 percent occurred in the north-central region (72 fatalities); 20.1 percent in northwest (173 gatalities); 2.6 percent in southwest (fatalities 22); southeast 3.7 percent (32 fatalities) and south-south 3.6 percent (31 fatalities). 90.2 percent of the fatalities for September 2022 affected the northern half of Nigeria.

Read also: FG’s poor handling of security encouraging terrorists; Afenifere

The figures also showed states that recorded the highest fatalities. They include Borno (163); Benue (90); Kaduna (82); Niger 65 and Zamfara 42, while Ondo State recorded the highest number of fatalities in the southwest with 55 persons killed within the period monitored. Ebonyi State had 28 fatalities as the state with the highest from the southeast region.

Other events that shaped Nigeria’s security in September according to the report include: continuation of massive oil theft and the resignation of the chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC); controversy over the arming of state-level security structures; social upheaval which was mostly triggered by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike; criminal activities in the south-west; violence associated with political events and politicians in the preparations for the 2023 general elections.

Since January to September 2022, there have been 3990 violent attacks which resulted in 8994 deaths and 4641 abductions.

In its outlook for the coming weeks, Beacon Consulting warned that killings, attacks and political violence will worsen. It said the dislodgement of gunmen from bases and camps due to the ongoing interdiction and clearance operations by the security forces will lead to further attacks against defenceless communities.

“Political violence localised to political events and gatherings will continue as preparations for the political party events ahead of the 2023 general elections take place. This is likely to increase following the commencement of the campaign activities.”

The organisation further warned that criminal activities, including kidnap for ransom, violent and petty crimes, as well as home invasions are likely to continue in the short and medium terms due to the deteriorating economic circumstances of the country and rising inflation.

“This is likely to be accentuated by the effect of the Russia – Ukraine war on commodities and the supply chain disruption it engendered,” the report read.

“The deteriorating security situation will continue to fuel political rancour and the exchange between the ruling party and its members and between it and opposition parties; social upheaval, especially protests by civil society organisations and political groups hiding behind civil activists will intensify as a major driver of security challenges as the effect of the economic hardship forces the government at the federal and state levels to take measures to manage these impacts,” the report read.