Levels of violence continue to rise in the aftermath of the elections, this week particularly in Kaduna and Benue States.

In Kaduna state, Islamists have recently killed almost 30 people. Sources say 17 people were killed in Ungwan Wake village, and another 10 in Langson village a few days later. A resident, Joshua Solomon, said, “My family house in the village was attacked by the terrorists and armed herdsmen. The house was burned down, and no one is left alive. They killed all my family members.” Another resident, Barnabas Tonak, said, “Our attackers were Muslim Fulani herdsmen who came along with terrorists to invade our community. Five members of my family were among those killed, and another family member was injured. Aside from the killing of our people, there herdsmen have in the past deliberately destroyed our farms and crops.” Speaking for the Southern Kaduna People in Diaspora (SOKAPDA), based in Europe, released a statement. “These attacks are coming bare three months after the mass murder of 38 harmless Christian villagers in Malgum, Kamutu-Ikulu and Abun (Broni Prono) communities in southern Kaduna. The government of Nigeria and that of Kaduna state have shown little support to either the victims or issued a simple statement of condemnation of the killings.” https://releaseinternational.org/prayer-alert-christians-killed-in-two-more-attacks-innigerias-kaduna-state/



Also in Kaduna, fresh attacks were carried out across here villages in Kagarko Local Government Area, three people have been killed and another 16 kidnapped. A resident of Kagarko, Shehu Rabiu, confirmed the attack on Wednesday, saying that it took place on Tuesday in Kala, Kutar, and Taka-Lafiya villages. He says the bandits were on motorcycles and carrying AK-47 rifles, and first attacked a camp with herders in Taka-Lafiya, where they attacked and abducted six Fulani’s, and killed one. They then continued on to Kutar village, where they abducted five people. “It was during the sporadic gunshots that two persons were killed din TakaLafiya village and one person at Kutar village.” A village leader in a neighbouring village, confirmed the incident also, “I was travelling to Jere and I received information that bandits had invaded three villages under Kubacha Chiefdom, killed three persons and abducted 16 others.” The bandits are said to be hiding in Tagwayen-Dutse, a forest between Kagarko and Kachia LGAs. https://www.withinnigeria.com/news/2023/03/30/bandits-kill-3-abduct-16-in-fresh-attackson-kaduna-villages/



In the same general area, bandits are also responsible for killing a new born baby. Shamsiya Mustapha, her husband, Mustapha, and her 16 year old daughter were abducted by bandits from their home in Janjala, Kagarko Local Government Area. The bandits released the husband after collecting 2 million Naira in ransom, as well as a new motorcycle; however they kept Shamsiya and her daughter, and demanded an additional 2 million Naira for their release. In the time that she was in captivity, Shamsiya gave birth to a baby boy. After his birth, they released Shamsiya but continued demanding 1, 5 million Naira for the daughter. Her relative, Yakubu Dati, says “You know as at the time the women was kidnapped alongside her husband and daughter, she was over seven months, until on Sunday, the bandits leader called the family that they should come and pick the woman as she has delivered a child. So all what the family had to do was to go and pick up the woman at a location back home, and she is on treatment at a private hospital in Kagarko town, except the other major concern is how to raise N1,5 million in order to see that her daughter is released is what us left,” he said. He also added that when the family enquired after the health of the baby, the leader of the bandits told them they had killed the child. https://www.withinnigeria.com/news/2023/03/28/kaduna-bandits-free-abductedmother-kill-newborn/



In Gboko, Benue State, guests at the Old Barn Hotel were attacked on 18 March. The House of Representatives has condemned the assault, and urged the chiefs of Defense and Army to institute a comprehensive investigation of the incident, since it was soldiers who were responsible for the attack. The House asked the Army chiefs to appear and explain why the unprovoked attack was carried out, why the troops did not carry proper identification or inform the hotel guests about their mission. The House stressed that this report must be provided as a matter of urgency, within two weeks by the military chiefs, especially in light of another attack by the army, which resulted in the extrajudicial killing of two young men in Gboko by the same battalion, 401 Special Forces Brigade. This attack and killing also happened on the 18th of March, when the 401 Special Forces Brigade members accused the young men of ballot snatching. The motion was adopted after being sponsored by Hon. Mark Gbillah. He is concerned about the worsening of military and police brutality, as well as extra-judicial killings by state security operatives of civilians and unarmed Nigerians. The military members, about 20 in number, stormed the hotel wearing Nigerian army uniforms, using Nigerian army trucks, but without any identification badges or name tags, or anything denoting their ranks. “The House is disturbed that the military men ordered all persons within view to move, gather in groups and squat on the ground without explanation such cruel and inhuman treatment. The House is also worried that in the course of obeying the Army officer’s commands, one of the soldiers accosted the Honourable and slapped him, despite introducing himself as a serving member of the House of Representatives, the soldier rather poured more invectives on the Honourable and ordered his subordinates to slap him and in an attempt to defend himself from the unprovoked assault, about 20 soldiers pounced on him and others with guns and brutally assaulted them, this resulted in serious injuries on his head, face, shoulders, chest, back, both arms, and legs. Further disturbed that this same team of soldiers were allegedly responsible for the extrajudicial killings of at least two persons in Gboko in two separate instances on the same day.” https://leadership.ng/reps-invite-army-chiefs-over-attacks-on-gboko-residents/



The chairman of the Borgu local Government Area in Niger state, Alhaji Suleiman Yarima, has appealed to residents of Babanna not to react violently and to remain calm. This is light of a soldier killing a local family of three. The family, comprising of a husband, wife, and their baby, went to the local Babanna market from Niganji in Benin state. On their way back home, they were stopped by an unnamed soldier. An argument erupted between the husband and the soldier, and in trying to assert his authority and threaten the man, the soldier brandished his weapon, shooting the husband then chatting the wife and child after, causing instant death. Yarima has confirmed that the army is investigating the killings, and that the local government sent delegations to the family to condole with them. He urged further that people should not try to take matters into their own hands, and instead allow authorities to do their work, and handle the issue. https://thenationonlineng.net/chairman-calls-for-calm-as-soldier-kills-threein-babanna/



This week saw an increase in violence perpetrated after the recent elections, both national and gubernatorial across the different states. This shows once more, that there are many flashpoints of conflict that the people in Nigeria have to contend with: ethnicity, politics, religion, language, and even geography. There needs to be a concerted effort by the federal government to counteract these acts of violence. Nigeria is already struggling with rolling violence from Fulani herdsmen and other militant Islamic forces. State governments, and the soon to be constituted central government by President Elect Tinubu must act fast to stem this new tide of violence.

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