BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE
LAGOS — FROM a disturbing position of 16, four years ago, Nigeria has sank deeper into the abyss of terrorism and is now the seventh most-terrorised country in the world, according to the latest ranking of the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).
From the 16th slot in 2008, Nigeria went down to 11 in 2009; 12 in 2010; and now seven with a GTI of 7.24. According to the report, Nigeria recorded 168 incidents of terrorism in 2011 from which 437 persons died, 614 persons sustained injuries and 33 property were destroyed.
Nigeria is worse than Sudan, which is ranked 11th and Mali (34th).
Ahead of Nigeria on the index are Iraq (9.56), Pakistan (9.05), Afghanistan (8.67), India (8.15), Yemen (7.30) and Somali (7.24)
Of the 158 countries, 43 are free of terrorism. They include Burkina Faso, Brazil, Congo Republic, Gabon, Ghana, Jamaica, Gambia, Liberia, North Korea, South Korea, Poland, Uruguay, Singapore and Zambia.
Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the GTI maps and analyzes trends in terrorism over the last 10 years and systematically ranks and compares 158 countries according to the impact of terrorism. The index is based on data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, START, at the University of Maryland.
The GTI uses four indicators to measure the impact of terrorism: the number of terrorist incidents, the number of deaths, the number of casualties and the level of property damage.
These indicators are used to create a weighted five year average for each country, which takes into account the lasting effects of terrorism. The score given to each country therefore indicates the impact of a terrorist attack on a society in terms of the fear and subsequent security response.
According to the report, from 2002 to 2011, North America was the region least likely to suffer from terrorism. Other findings include:
• While more terrorist attacks are being recorded, the number of fatalities has declined by 25 per cent since 2007.
• Only 31 out of 158 countries ranked have not experienced a terrorist attack since 2002
• Most terrorist attacks occur in the context of a wider conflict situation
• Since the start of the Iraq invasion the number of terrorist incidents occurring each year has increased fourfold, globally
• In 2011 Iraq was the country that was most impacted by terrorism, followed by Pakistan and Afghanistan