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4,416 Nigerians killed and 4,334 abducted in one year -CSOs

4,416 Nigerians killed and 4,334 abducted in one year -CSOs

With President Bola Tinubu nearing his first anniversary in office, 85 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have reported alarming figures of violence in Nigeria, noting that 4,416 people were killed and 4,334 abducted in the past year. The figures were revealed during the 7th National Day of Mourning for Victims of Mass Atrocities in Abuja, where the CSOs urged the government to account for the missing and deceased and ensure justice for victims.

Leaders from various organizations, including Global Rights Nigeria and the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), highlighted Nigeria’s precarious security situation. The country ranked 144th out of 163 on the 2024 Global Peace Index and 5th on the Global Conflict Index, indicating extreme vulnerability to conflict.

The CSOs emphasized the need for the government to uphold its constitutional duty to secure the lives and welfare of all Nigerians. They also stressed the importance of recognizing victims of mass atrocities, not just as statistics, but as individuals whose identities and dignities must be preserved.

The report detailed that since the last National Day of Mourning on May 28, 2023, and during President Tinubu’s first year in office, there have been significant fatalities and abductions across the country. The North Central region reported the highest number of deaths, with at least 1,600 fatalities from various attacks, including herdsmen assaults and communal clashes. The North West followed with 1,136 fatalities primarily from banditry.

Zamfara State’s Maradun Local Government was particularly affected, suffering five separate terror attacks in 2023 that resulted in 118 deaths. In the North East, Boko Haram and ISWAP activities caused 904 deaths, predominantly in Borno State, with sporadic incidents in Yobe and Adamawa States. The region also saw intra-insurgent clashes, such as the killing of 82 Boko Haram members in Borno.

In the South, the Southeast recorded the highest fatalities with 344 deaths, mainly due to secessionist activities in Imo and Anambra States. The South-South region reported 272 deaths from cult gang conflicts, communal clashes, and bandit attacks. The Southwest saw 160 deaths from cult violence, herdsmen attacks, and other isolated incidents.

These figures exclude regular crimes like armed robbery. The CSOs lamented that the pervasive violence has undermined citizens’ rights to life and dignity as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, fostering fear and uncertainty and impacting social cohesion, the economy, public health, and education.

The organizations demanded that the government investigate and prosecute all perpetrators of violent crimes, including those involved in the 2023 general election violence. They also called for improved welfare and psychosocial support for security personnel and measures to discourage ransom payments by tracking financial flows related to kidnappings and extortions, aiming to bring those responsible to justice.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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