• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Violence in Nigeria: 217 attacks, 1,872 deaths recorded in Q1 2023

Missing arms and the proliferation of gun violence in Nigeria

A recent report by Stefanos Foundation, an NGO dedicated to human rights and peacebuilding, has disclosed that Nigeria experienced 217 attacks between January and April 2023.

These attacks occurred in 34 different states and had severe consequences, resulting in the loss of 1,872 lives, 714 abductions, and 65 injuries.

Fatima Njoku, the Advocacy Manager at Stefanos Foundation, expressed concern over the alarming rise in violence across the nation, especially considering that Nigeria is not engaged in a war.

She stated that the attacks follow a similar pattern, with the attackers wearing similar attire and the victims sharing similar profiles. This pattern has been observed in various locations such as Agatu, Guma, Logo in Benue State, Kagoro, Zangon Kataf, Kajuru, Kafanchan in southern Kaduna, Bassa, Riyom, Barkin Ladi, and now Mangu in Plateau State.

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In a distressing revelation, Stefanos Foundation documented 217 attacks in total, spanning across 34 states in Nigeria between January and April 2023. These attacks resulted in the loss of 1,872 lives, 714 abductions, and 65 injuries. The severity of these figures is deeply concerning, particularly since Nigeria is not involved in any armed conflict. The Foundation urges the government to take swift action to address this critical issue.

Further, the report emphasised the pressing need for immediate action to address the root causes of this violence.

In highlighting the urgency to attend to this violence streak, the Mwaghavul Development Association (MDA) located in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State held a joint press conference with Stefanos Foundation in Abuja. During the conference, they shed light on the impact of the violence and stressed the importance of the government tackling the underlying issues that contribute to it.

Joseph Gwamkat, national president of MDA, asserted that the return of people to their ancestral homes is non-negotiable. He said that if the situation is left unaddressed, it will lead to hunger and poverty, particularly due to the current economic climate. Gwamkat further stated that Mangu Local Government Area contributes 40percent of the agricultural produce in Plateau State, making the ongoing violence a direct threat to their livelihoods.

“The MDA strongly recommends the implementation of state policing in all states and communities across Nigeria, as well as the establishment of special courts to settle disputes between conflicting communities,” Gwamkat said.

Further, he extended gratitude to Governor Caleb Mutfwang, who, despite being in office for only four days, visited Mangu Local Government Area to conduct a fact-finding mission and assess the situation faced by displaced individuals.