Insecurity: How 63, 111 persons were killed under Buhari’s watch

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For two long nights between May 15 and 16, Kubwat and Fungzai villages in Mangu Local Government Area, LGA, of Plateau State were killing fields.

Terrorists unleashed mayhem on the villages, razing houses and foodstuffs, and killed no fewer than 100 persons mostly women and children.

So far, 50 bodies have been discovered. The death toll could rise as people were still running in droves from the sacked communities to Mangu town and beyond to seek refuge as of press time.

The lawmaker representing Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr Solomon Maren, said the attacks were among many in the constituency where 200 persons had been killed in the last four months.

The 100 lives wasted in Mangu are among the 63,111 that have been killed since outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office on May 29, 2015.

According to data obtained from the Nigeria Security Tracker, NST, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa programme, the deaths arose from terrorism, banditry, Herders/farmers clashes, communal crises, cult clashes, and extra-judicial killings among others.

The NST documents and maps violence in Nigeria that is motivated by political, economic or social grievances. “Different groups in Nigeria resort to violence. The militant Islamist movement Boko Haram is active in northern Nigeria. Violence among ethnic groups, farmers, and herdsmen sometimes acquires religious overtones. A new generation of Niger Delta militants threatens war against the state. Government soldiers kill civilians indiscriminately. Police are notorious for extra-judicial murder,” it said.

The 63,111 death toll is conservative because only reported cases from multiple sources were included. And many cases are under-reported or not reported at all.

Thus, the NST statistics should be viewed as indicative rather than definitive.

Since the NST started the data on May 29, 2011, when former President Goodluck Jonathan was inaugurated, no fewer than 98,083 Nigerians had been killed.

When President Buhari assumed office on May 29, 2015, the cumulative number of people killed in Nigeria, according to the NST was 34,972. Since then, the death figure has risen to 98,083 as of May 16, 2023.
Since 2015, Nigeria recorded the least killings in 2017 when 4618 persons died and the worst in 2021 when 10575 lives were wasted (see table).

However, the death tolls have been going down since 2022 when 9079 deaths were recorded.

How 63,111 Nigerians were
killed in
8 years under
Buhari

Year Deaths

2015 5556
2016 5763
2017 4618
2018 6565
2019 8340
2020 9694
2021 10575
2022 9079
2023 2921
Total 63,111

*Killings between June and December 2015

*As of May 16, 2023

Timeline of killings in May 2023

*May 1: Bandits killed two and abducted four in Zaria, Kaduna.
*May 1: Kidnappers abducted three and killed one in Akwanga, Nassarawa.
*May 2: Kidnappers abducted twelve in Owan East, Edo.
*May 2: Gunmen killed one police officer in Aba, Abia.
*May 2: Herders killed three in Boripe, Osun.
*May 3: Gunmen killed a youth leader in Ahoada East, Rivers.
*May 4: Gunmen killed three police officers in Orumba South, Anambra.
*May 4: Soldiers killed 23 bandits while one soldier was killed during a clash in Shiroro, Niger State.
*May 6: Troops killed two Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) commanders and “several” other ISWA militants (est. at twelve total) in Konduga, Borno.
*May 7: Gunmen killed one police officer and kidnapped the Taraba local government chairman in Takum, Taraba.
*May 7: Bandits abducted forty from a church in Chikun, Kaduna.
*May 7: Bandits abducted thirteen and killed one in Kagarko, Kaduna.
*May 7: Security operatives killed four kidnappers in Idemili North, Anambra.
*May 7: Communal violence led to one death in Mokwa, Niger.
*May 8: Herders killed three in Guma, Benue.
*May 8: Cult clashes resulted in 16 deaths in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
*May 9: A cult clash resulted in three deaths in Owo, Ondo.
*May 9: Herders killed six in Guma, Benue.
*May 10: Security forces killed seven gunmen in Nnewi South, Anambra.
*May 10: Gunmen killed two in Mangu, Plateau.
*May 10: ISWA killed three Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Damboa, Borno.
*May 11: Troops killed 11 ISWAP militants in Abadam, Borno.
*May 11: Kidnappers abducted an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Ehime-Mbano, Imo.
*May 12: Bandits abducted fifty in Rijau, Niger State.
*May 12: Communal violence led to 13 deaths in Karim-Lamido, Taraba.
*May 12: A pastor, Daniel Danbeki and 37 others were killed by suspected herdsmen in attacks on Takalafia and Kwaja in Karu LGA of Nasarawa State

*May 12: Communal crisis between Amazaba community of East Obolo and ikot Akpab Udo village in Ikot Abasi LGA of Akwa Ibom State claimed four lives

*May 14: A man shot his elder brother and cut off his head and private parts at Ekori in Yakkur LGA of Cross River State.
*May 15: Gunmen killed 29 person’s at Kubwat and Fungzai villages in Mangu LGA of Plateau State.

*May 15: Three soldiers were killed and 10 were injured while repelling an ambush on their convoy by Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP, terrorists in Abadam, Borno State.

May 15: A man killed his stepmother with a pestle in Ihima Obeobe Ebozohu community, Okehi LGA of Kogi State
*May 16: Gunmen killed four US Embassy officials in Ogbaru LGA, Anambra State.
*May 16: 10 persons including a couple and their only child were killed in attacks on Akpanta, Ochumeko and Ijaha communities in Apa LGA of Benue State by suspected herdsmen

*May 16: An EFCC official was killed by two of his colleagues in Sokoto following a disagreement on custody of items belonging to a suspect.

*May 16: Kidnappers killed one person and kidnapped three including Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, immediate younger brother of the Akogun Oyedepo, Chairman, Governing Council of Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti along Ijara-Isin/Isanlu Isin Road in Kwara State.

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