Violence continues unabated across the South East. Political tensions have been raised by IPOB’s announcement that the entire South East would be on “stay at home” every Monday until Nnamdi Kanu is released. The first “stay at home” occurred on Monday 9 August. It was widely observed, with crowded cities like Onitsha and Umuahia resembling ghost towns. However, it is unclear whether this compliance is an indication of popular support, or whether it was done out of fear of victimization.

Below is the latest update of reported incidents during the past week.

4 August 2021 – Some of the Nigerian army fighting in Borno State, including the 231 Tank Battalion, are being drafted as reinforcement military to the South-East region of Nigeria, as there was a recent clash between the military and IPOB/ their security arm ESN. According to President Buhari, a source states that military focus is shifting towards airpower, including combat helicopters to effectively conduct large-scale raids and establish criminal hideouts. Similarly, traditional leaders and chiefs are asked to avoid colluding with the criminals, as they will be detained by security forces to extract crucial information, as seen in the North-West of Nigeria.

5 August 2021 – In just over a week (23 July – 2 August 2021), armed Fulani militia were responsible for the invasion of 15 villages, burning down of at least 405 houses and churches, the destruction of thousands of farmland hectares and their crops, and resulting in over 20,000 citizens being displaced. This level of destruction is overwhelming and outcry emerged, as many of these killings took place right behind the 3rd Armoured Division Barrack of the Nigerian Army in Plateau State, and there was no intervention from the Nigerian army nor other security agencies. According to Dan Manjang, the state Commissioner for Information stated that Governor Simon Lalong had ordered security to avert agitators by occupying the state.

7 August 2021 – A report called “Nigeria’s Silent Slaughter” was released describing Nigeria as “a failed state” and a “regional epicentre for terrorism”. The report published statistics from over the last 20 years, showing over 43,242 Nigerian civilians were massacred by Islamic State insurgents and Boko Haram, with an additional 18,834 lives taken by the armed Fulani militia. Further, deaths resulting from extrajudicial murders by alternative actors (such as military, police, etc.) are recorded as no fewer than 34,233 Nigerians. The report suggests a targeted religious genocide against Christians is taking place in Nigeria, under President Buhari’s government that is “Fulani Muslim-dominated”. Baroness Caroline Cox, a member of the House of Lords, UK, released a letter in 2019 urging the international community to take notice of the genocide occurring in Nigeria and recognise how the government coddles the Fulani herdsmen. Similarly, Frank Wolf, a retired USA congressman, called on the world to recognise how in the decade-long Jihadist fight by Boko Haram insurgents, the execution of more than 27,000 Nigerians occurred. This figure is higher than that of the killings committed by ISIS in Syria and Iraq combined. Professor Joash Amupitan, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, calls for a “United Nations-backed tribunal in Nigeria” and this will need the help of major powers to refer Nigeria’s case.

7 August 2021 – Armed Fulani militia were seen to shoot the driver of a Lexus 330 SUV dead and abduct 5 of the passengers before abandoning the vehicle and disappearing into the forests. Police spokesman, ASP Sunday Abutu, confirmed the incident and drivers death, however stated only two persons were abducted. The attack occurred between Aiyetoro-Ekiti and Ewu-Ekiti LGA of Ekiti State and ASP Abutu confirmed police, local hunters, and Amotekun Corps operatives were already on a search for the victims and hopefully, they can arrest the gunmen. Additionally, Ademola Afolayan, a poultry farmer from Ikere-Ekiti was attacked and killed by at least 5 armed Fulani militia around 5 pm on 2 August 2021. 2 other people managed to narrowly escape the farm during the attack. Furthermore, Comrade Clement Adekola, the former Ekiti State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, narrowly escaped death as his car was attacked around 5 pm on 3 August 2021 when he was driving along Ikere-Igbara Odo Road, in Ikere LGA of Ekiti State. Lastly, 3 commercial buses were attacked when the vehicles were navigating the poor roads and the gunmen abducted numerous travellers on Ikere-Ado/ Akure Ekiti road in Ekiti State.

8 August 2021 – Attacks on Kauru and Zangton Kataf local councils in Southern Kaduna over the last few weeks resulted in thousands of villagers abandoning their homes and fleeing to IDP camps and any other areas they can locate refuge. Luka Binniyat, the spokesperson for Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), highlights how Governor el-Rufai of Kaduna State has never bothered to visit any of the villages where violent attacks occurred nor offered assistance.

Mbiya Christiana Augustine, a 45-year old woman and a victim who was involved in an attack on her village Matyei in Atyap Chiefdom recall her horrific experience. Mbiya explains waking up to her husband shouting for her and their children to run into the cornfields and hide as the attackers were entering the village. They did so without delay and from the fields she watched their village go up into flames. The next morning they emerged from the fields to find their entire village and every house burnt to the ground, later she heard her child screaming as they found her husband shot numerous times and left to burn to ashes in their house. Augustine Arege (50 years old), Mbiya’s husband, was one of eight causalities recorded from the attack that occurred that evening.

10 August 2021 – Gunmen arrived in 7 vehicles at the police Area Command in the Nnewi axis of Anambra State. The attackers overpowered the police personnel and took their ammunition and arms, after killing 4 policemen and 4 other persons. Eyewitnesses believe the attack was because a joint security patrol team killed two suspected ESN/ IPOB members a few hours before the attack, as they were enforcing the ‘sit-at-home order. The attackers also set 3 buses on fire and shot 2 people dead and they were walking through Nnewi. The ESN/ IPOB members were seen and heard singing “today is sit-at-home. Anything sighted, even if it’s a fly must be destroyed” and gunshots could be heard from as early as 6 am.

Similarly, the Owerri-Umuahia Road was deserted by travellers as a Highlander SUV, 5 vehicles, and 3 Hummer buses were set ablaze while many people sustained bullet injuries and 2 people died. Pa Johnston, an elderly man who lives opposite the scene recalls it occurring around 4:3am and the military only arrived on the scene around 11 am.

The ‘sit-at-home order had the following results:

  • Onitsha and Nnewi Areas – total compliance occurred, with shops, markets and banks locked up.
  • Awka – some banks and the Eke Awka market were closed, however, a few street shops were open as vehicle movements were not restricted.
  • Nkwo-Ogwu in Aboh Mbaise LGA, Imo State – 2 travellers burnt to death.
  • Umuahia – major streets had a little movement of vehicles and people.
  • Aba – total lockdown of both vehicles and travellers.
  • Owerri – standstill in commercial activities, as residents complied with the order.
  • Akweulu Oko and Okwe – total shutdown, with commercial and social activities grounded.
  • Abakaliki – all businesses were shut down (including banks, schools and shops).

11 August 2021 – A mother and her three children (ages ranging from 1- 5 years old) were brutally murdered and left to burn in their house by armed Fulani militia in Okokolo community, Apopogolo in Ado LGA of Benue State. The attackers were found to have come from Ngbo in Ebonyi State, which has the previous rivalry over a land dispute.

11 August 2021 – Sibi Yakubu, Seri Danladi, and Sarah Ishaya were killed in Jebbu Miango as they left a camp in a neighbouring town in search of food. These 3 women were survivors of the attack on Jebbu Miango that occurred a week prior, where over 400 houses were set ablaze and numerous people killed. According to police, 9 people have been arrested and security personnel are gathering valuable information from those detained.



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