Violence continues in the south of Nigeria. The kidnapping of school students, a tactic often used by Boko Haram in Borno State, is now widespread in the South East and in the Central Belt. See below a summary of incidents reported during the past week:

8 July 2021 – The governor of Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi, reports that over the last 10 years more than 76 000 people have died as a result of the insecurity that has infiltrated Nigeria. Governor Fayemi states that the population size is contributing to the insecurity, as the government cannot effectively manage the poverty, where currently over 40% of Nigerians are earning less than $1 per day. Secondly, desertification is an additional reason for insecurity as more than 60% of the land in Nigeria has been affected by increasing climate change and severe droughts. Thirdly, the proliferation of light weaponry and small arms has contributed to the rise of ethnic conflict in the country. Nigeria’s Governors Forum (NGF) with support from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has successfully established a “Peace and Security Desk” to carry out the new initiative PISI (the Peace and Inclusive Security Initiative). This will allow for open dialogue between all state and non-state actors to effectively establish a sustainable solution to the conflict and insecurity of Nigerians lives and their land.

8 July 2021 – The development director of the FCDO, Christopher Pycroft, called out Nigeria’s fragile justice institutions and impunity as the reason for the recurring crises. Pycroft warns that if these crises continue rising, the 2023 elections may be at risk, and thus a threat of destabilisation to Nigeria’s democracy. Pycroft notes that stability and peace in Nigeria are achievable if the various levels of government implement and effectively manage the causes of conflict through responsive, robust and just mechanisms. Pycroft advises the need for job creation for Nigeria’s youth and a superior emphasis towards arbitration, mediation, access to justice and reconciliation. The British government has recognised the fight against insecurity in Nigeria and pledges the UK’s support.

9 July 2021 – More than 35 innocent civilians were killed in an attack over five communities in Maradun LGA of Zamfara state, including Tsauni, Wari, Gidan-Adamu, Gudan-Maidawa and Gudan-Bausgi. The attackers arrived with over 90 motorcycles before setting houses and properties on fire. Police spokesperson, Muhammad Shehu, stated that police officers were not able to reach the communities in time to catch the attackers, as the roads are bad. The governor of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle, ensures the matter of insecurity in the state will be handled effectively since joining the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

9 July 2021 – 10 citizens were murdered and numerous injured in two communities, Chikun and Warkan village in Zango Kataf LGA’s of Kaduna state. The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir el-Rufai, directed an urgent assessment on Warkan village by the emergency management agency to provide necessary relief materials for citizens that are affected. Similarly, security agencies in Jama and Kafanchan reported 5 youth missing, however ensured an investigation team are working on it.

10 July 2021 – Security agencies approach to the insecurity and secessionist agitations in Nigeria are seen as divisive. Firstly, a video was released of a bandit, Dankarami, with a gun and crowd giving an interview to a government official. Dankarami declares that he is responsible for the military convey ambushes in Zamfara State, where he continually boasts that he “dealt with” the soldiers, relishing in killing them, and the further abduction of children. Secondly, in Katsina State, more than 1, 500 people have been killed by armed Fulani militia. Governor Aminu Masari administration offered the bandit leaders an amnesty offer, which was agreed upon, collected and later abandoned as they returned to crime, this resulting in a failed amnesty programme of more than N30m. The armed Fulani militia used this money to purchase additional weaponry. Governor Masari called on residents to defend themselves, as security agencies are failing to protect them, resulting in further outcry as it is the governor’s job and responsibility to protect residents. Thirdly, in Zamfara State, the famine situation has deteriorated due to armed Fulani militia preventing farmers onto their farms. Bello Mattawalle, the governor of the state gave the Fulani militia money and vehicles as a peace offer, however resulting in the bandits using these resources for future crimes. Many Nigerians believe the government is not focusing on the urgent security situations as seen abductions that have occurred include:

  • 110 female students kidnapped (19 February 2018 – Yobe State)
  • Over 300 students kidnapped (11 December 2020 – Katsina State)
  • 1 student murdered, 27 students abducted (17 February 2021 – Niger State)
  • 279 female students abducted (26 February 2021 – Zamfara State)
  • 39 students abducted for 2 months (11 March 2021 – Kaduna State)
  • 23 students kidnapped ransom of N23m paid while gunmen still killed 5 students as they wanted an additional N100m ransom (20 April 2021 – Kaduna State)
  • 104 people abducted, while 9 villages and 5 soldiers killed (Zamafara State – 6 July 2021)

11 July 2021 – Inspector-General of Police Special Response Team operatives arrested 9 individuals in Kwara State after Gaa Fulani, a Fulani camp, was set ablaze. In Odo-Owa, the police team arrested a traditional chief and one other youth, before proceeding to Omu-Aran where they arrested an additional seven youths in the early hours of the morning. Once the youth of Odo-Owa realised the police were making arrests, they gathered to prevent the arrests, resulting in the exchange of fire between the youths and the IGP team. After the encounter, the police arrested 6 youths and recovered their weaponry, including 3 firearms, 2 motorcycles, 2 axes and 6 cutlasses.

11 July 2021 – Nigerian Customs officers successfully intercepted a truck filled with live ammunition in Minna, Niger State that was on its way to Onitsha. The officers arrested the truck driver Bukari Dauda, and the owner of the live ammunition, Martin Anokwara. Millions of cartridges can be seen in the photos.




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