An organisation dedicated to the tracking of violent incidents in the country, Nigeria Mourns, has released its first quarter report of 2023 which showed that 1,230 people were killed in the country in the first quarter of 2023.
The report also said that 79 security personnel died within the period while 658 people were abducted across the country.
The report published on its website said banditry remained the most singular cause of violent deaths across the country with 29.27 per cent or 360 deaths while an existing threat is the rise in extra-judicial killings and herdsmen-related killings, which constitute about 10.08 per cent and 13.65 per cent, respectively with at least 124 and 168 deaths.
A further breakdown of the statistics showed that Boko Haram/ISWAP-related atrocities constituted 22.11 per cent or 272 deaths. It said political killings mostly due to the recent 2023 general election accounted for at least 7.72 per cent, or 95 deaths.
The group said the trend was an indication of an alarming increase in the activities of Boko Haram/ISWAP in recent times, and extra-judicial killings mostly perpetrated by security personnel and herdsmen activities by mostly Fulani herders.
The report said secessionists’ violent campaign mostly in the South-eastern part of the country contributed 6.75 per cent representing at least 83 deaths while cult clashes took 4.96 per cent or 61 deaths.
It said isolated attacks, mob attacks, armed robbery, and communal clashes accounted for 5.45 per cent of the incidents, translating to 67 deaths.
“In the first quarter of 2023, our data showed that at least 1,230 people were killed, including at least 79 security personnel and over 658 abductions took place across Nigeria.
“In what has been an unfortunate trend in our data collated in the first quarter of 2023, banditry remains the largest cause of violent deaths across the country with 29.27 per cent (360 deaths) while an existing threat is a rise in extra-judicial killings and herdsmen related killings which constitute about 10.08 per cent and 13.65 per cent, respectively amounting to 124 and 168 deaths,” it said.
On personnel losses in Nigeria’s security framework, it said in the first quarter of 2023, 6.42 per cent of all lives lost to violent killings were security personnel numbering at least 79 security operatives killed across Nigeria while the remaining 93.58 per cent of lives lost violently are those of civilians numbering at least 1,151 deaths.
It said data on the brazen killings of security operatives is further divided into para-military: Police, 54 constituting 68.35 per cent, NSCDC (at least 10 deaths), representing 12.66 per cent and military (at least 15 deaths) accounting for 18.99 per cent. With at least 54 lives lost, police lives lost in the first quarter of 2023 constituted the highest losses among security operatives, it said.
“In examining the disaggregated data on violent incidents in the first quarter of 2023, our data confirm the popular opinion that each region of Nigeria is beguiled by a peculiar type of violent incident. While there was slight overlap in certain cases, overwhelming evidence from the data collated suggests that more often than not, violent deaths in a particular region can be attributed to the brand of violence associated with the region.
“Overall, more violent incidents were recorded in the Northern part of the country than the South – of the at least 1,230 deaths recorded, there were at least 932 violent killings in the North representing 75.77 per cent of the total killed, in contrast to the South where at least 298 were killed representing 24.23 per cent of the recorded figure,” the group added.