Violent attacks rise in Nigeria by 47%

Over 6,000 persons killed in six months

Despite assurances of safety from government and efforts of security forces, Nigeria’s security deteriorated in the last six months. No fewer than 6,698 persons were killed in violent attacks across the country in during the period, a new report has revealed.

According to the report titled “The Nigeria Security Situation”, released on Tuesday by Beacon Consulting, a security risk management and intelligence consulting company, the number of fatalities increased by 35.9 percent in the first half of 2022 (January to June) compared to the 4,927 fatalities recorded in the first half of 2021.

The report also showed that more citizens were kidnapped in 2022 compared to 2021. At least 3357 persons were abducted compared to 2540 perosns abducted within the same period last year, representing 24.3 percent increase.

Also, there were 2357 cases of violent attacks; this, again represents a 47.5 percent increase from the 1235 attacks witnessed last year.

The North witnessed more than 86 percent of the total fatalities and abductions , while 13.3 percent was recorded in the South

Kabiru Adamu, the CEO, Beacon Consulting, while presenting the reply at a webinar, said the attacks were largely perpetrated by terrorists, bandits, ethnic militias, political thugs, among others. According to him, the non state actors are successfully challenging the supremacy of the use of force by the state. He also disclosed that federal and state level security forces including the military played a role in driving the attacks in terms of high handedness, extra-judicial killings and violations of the law.

The CEO revealed that incidents that led to the fatalities and abductions include raid, combats, crossfire, individual attacks, ambush, among others. Adamu further disclosed that the effects of the ongoing Russia – Ukraine war and the supply chain disruptions and hike in commodity prices including an energy crisis it triggered accentuated the structural deficiencies driving insecurity in Nigeria.

Adamu also revealed that there was an increase in political violence associated off-cycle state level elections ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Commenting on the report, Captain Aliyu Umar, CEO, Goldwater consults, reiterated that the over 6,000 Nigerians killed are not just numbers, but people with families, dreams, and aspirations. “We are on a serious situation, ” he cried.

He disclosed that some of the factors fuelling insecurity is interagency rivalry among security agencies. He noted that there is rivalry among the Nigeria police, the Army and the Department of State Security Services. This, he noted is the reason why the DSS is lamenting that some of its intelligence reports are not acted upon.

Read also: Tackle insecurity, not opponents, Nigerians urge Buhari

Umar, stressed that Nigeria has all it needs to tackle the spate of insecurity but the government lacks the political will to do so.

Also speaking, Temitope Olodo, CEO TRAZ consortium (UK) described the security situation in Nigeria as very dire. According to him, “we are talking of 6,698 deaths, that means that 37 people lose their lives every 24 hours. In UK, if two people are adopted a day, the flag will go down, but in Nigeria the flag will still be up; that just tells you the kind of government we have, the government that is not fit for purpose, we need to be enough frank here.”

He further pointed out that the Nigerian military is still operating the 9th and 12th century approach, and has failed to adapt international best practices. He opined that Nigeria, can engage services of brilliant officials who have left the service as done in the UK and other advanced countries to get a different result.

Group Captain Sadeeq Shehu (rtd), a defence and security consultant blamed the “worsening security ” situation on poor utilization of defence budget in addition to lack of accountability and oversight.

“It is not the amount or size of budget that matters, but how the money is spent. A lot of money is being released, but used for what? This is where I see a lacuna, there is abject lack of oversight from the president and the minister of defence,” he added, while explaining that about 70 percent of the budget is disbursed for extraneous projects that have nothing to do with operational.

Bulama Bukarti, Senior fellow at the Tony Blair institute regretted that Nigeria has become the most lucrative place anyone can just walk into, perpetrate crime with instant return on investment which are reinvested in arms procurement.

He also stressed that the military expenditure should be reviewed, while pointing out that military expenditure is abnormally high, while capital expenditure which covers training and procurement if weapons is very insignificant. According to him, ‘the Nigerian military is making money but not putting it into areas that could give us the kind of result we need. We need ro look at military expenditure and pay attention to cash flow ”

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