By Clifford Ndujihe
ON December 31 of every year, many people troop to religious and prayer houses where they thank God for the ending year and supplicate for better tidings – good health, long life, prosperity and other favours in the new year. Many people outline a litany of lofty goals they want to actualise in the coming year.
They top it up with exchange of goodwill wishes and messages with friends and family. No matter how old, instant death is furtherest on the minds of most people. Even those who are ill expect to get well in the new year.
Less than 30 days into 2017, the Nigerian polity is littered with untimely and aborted dreams. No fewer than 500 people, across the country, have had their lives violently terminated in their prime, according to Vanguard checks.
These include Nigerians who were bombed out of existence by Boko Haram terrorists in North-Eastern parts of the country; those in Internally Displaced Peoples, IDP’s camp, who were mistakenly bombed by the Nigerian Air force, penultimate week; 15 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, who were allegedly killed by the police in Port-Harcourt by marching in support of the inauguration of President Donald Trump of the US on January 20; and others killed by Fulani herdsmen/farmers clashes, communal clashes, cult clashes and accidents.
Litany of deaths
Some of the heart-rending violent deaths, which started from the the first day of January 2017 include:
Three persons were killed when a truck of a major cement company crushed two commercial motorcyclists at ido-Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Council of Ekiti State.
A man, Onyekachi Omego killed another man, Ohabuike at a drinking bar in Enugu.
Five indigenes of Abraka and Obiarukwu both in Ethiope East and Ukwani local government areas of Delta State, were reportedly killed during a clash between farmers and suspected Fulani herdsmen along the boundary of the neighbouring communities.
It was gathered that there had been a protracted animosity between the Fulani herdsmen and farmers in both communities over incessant destruction of farmlands by cattle which the state government had attempted to intervene in for quite sometime. Five farmers have been gruesomely killed in separate attacks on two communities in Delta state by Fulani herdsmen.
Southern City News reports that the attacks which occurred in Abraka and Obiaruku in Ethiope East and Ukwuani local government area of the state respectively were believed to have been carried out by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
The incident was said to have occurred on Tuesday, January 3 and Wednesday, January 4, 2017, when the communities were reportedly attacked by herdsmen that had a running battle with farmers over destruction of their crops. Four male and a female farmer lost their lives in the two-day attack
Three people, including a Ghanaian, were killed in a renewed hostility between Aiye Confraternity and Eiye Confraternity cult groups in Sango area of Ogun State.
A 36-year old applicant, Mr. Gabriel Sibe, was killed and one person was missing following a shoot-out between invaders and local youths in Isaba, Warri, Delta State.
A man killed his 86-year old father at Idepe in Okitipupa Local Council of Ondo State.
Boko Haram beheaded 15 people in a bush between Gubio and Mobbar Local Council of Borno State.
A 24-year old man man was killed by cultists at Igbe Kapo, Ikorodu, Lagos.
Two people died when the Nigeria Police Force and some youths in Tsonje, a community near Kagoro in Kaura Local Council of Kaduna State engaged some terrorists on a 24 hour gun battle.
Boko Haram killed five soldiers during an attack at the Bunu/Yadi military post, Gujba, near Sambisa forest.
Five persons were killed by herdsmen in Abraka, Delta State
Five Mobile Policemen and two civilians died in an attack by suspected herdsmen in Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
Mobile policemen were deployed to Kwayina, Gideon Dadi and Kurlai communities after clashes by residents with armed herdsmen that left more than 40 persons dead.
Apart from the policemen, two other bodies were recovered after the attacks, while scores of the herdsmen were believed to have been killed and received gunshot wound.
A house wife killed her husband, Leo Parker, at Ekeki, Yenogoa, Bayelsa State over Christmas rice disagreement.
Professor Gabriel Okayi, a pastor with Foundation Faith Church and a lecturer at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi was killed by gunmen.
A man, Leonard Mba killed his brother, Cletus, in Onicha village, Enugu-Ezike, Igboeze North Local Council of Enugu State over a disagreement.
Four civilians and five suicide bombers were killed in attacks in Muna Garrage and Kaleri wards of Maiduguri, Brno State.
Owoyemi Meribamiwa, a 21-year student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko, Ondo State was killed by gunmen.
Two Fulani herdsmen were reportedly killed by youths of Umuoba-Anam community of Anambra State over alleged destruction of their crops.
No fewer than four people were confirmed dead and several others injured during clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Sabon Daga area of Bosso local government area of Niger State.
The fight broke out few days after cattle rustlers attacked Angwa Umadi village in Shiroro local government area of the state, killing a Senior Secondary School (SSS) two student and wounding 15 others.
One person was feared dead and several others injured as cult war between people suspected to be members of the Eiye Confraternity and rival Aiye confraternity entered its third day.
Three communities in Ijebu Igbo, Ijebu North local government area of the state, namely Ojowo, Oke – Sopen and Atikori, were turned to theatres of war by the cult groups.
Three persons were killed in an accident along Ilesa/Akure Expressway, Ondo State.
A boat driver, Mr. Boluozimo Tulagha, who was killed by troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe (ODS), operatives at the waterside of Polaku community, Yenagoa local government area of Bayelsa State.
Five people died and 23 others sustained injuries at an auto crash along Anwai-Illah Road, near Asaba, Delta State.
Three people were feared dead after a clash broke out between Hausa/Fulani scavengers and residents of Itiam Etoi in Uyo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.
*Scores of people were killed in Madagali, Adamawa State in multiple suicide attacks by Boko Haram insurgents.
Three soldiers were killed and 27 others were wounded when the Nigerian army engaged Boko Haram insurgents in a shoot-out with Boko Haram terrorists at Kangarwa, Kukawa local Government Area of Borno State. The soldiers killed 10 of them while others escaped with gunshot wounds.
A woman, Mrs Igho Ikpurhi, was reportedly shot and killed by her husband in Warri, Delta State over a disagreement.
* 12 people died in an accident on Oyo-Ogbomoso road when a commuter bus skidded off the the road and plunged into the Odo-Oba River in Oyo State.
10 members of the civilian JTF were killed at Abaji in Katsina-Ala Local Council of Benue State by gunmen.
One person died at Olomi, Ibadan, Oyo State when some youths clashed with policemen, who went to rescue a man allegedly caught with a human head.
10 people were killed the people of Ogwurude and Oyidah neighbouring commuities in Obubra, Cross River State clashed over alleged hunting of human head for the burial of chief in one of the communities.
Seven persons including Professor Aliyu Mani of the Veterinary Medicine Department of the University of Maiduguri were killed by Boko Haram suicide bombers.
A man, Matthew Oguntade, killed by his wife at Owode-Ijako, Sango-Ota, Ogun State over domestic issues.
Troops killed two persons in Polaku, Yenogoa over alleged possession of firearms.
Three persons were killed and five injured when herdsmen opened fire in Samaru Kataf market in Zango-Kataf Local Council of Kaduna State.
Conflicting number of aid workers and civilians said to over 100 were killed and a host of others injured when an Air force jet accidentally bombed an IDP camp in Rann, Borno State, instead of Boko Haram militants.
Six persons were feared dead in the renewed boundary crisis between Oku Iboku community in Akwa Ibom and Ikot Offiong in Cross River.
11 supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, were reportedly killed by security agents in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at a rally to celebrate the inauguration of new US President, Donald Trump.
Three persons were beheaded in the renewed hostility between the people of Azuofia Edda Community in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and Osopong Community in Obubora Local Government of Cross River State.
The crisis started week when the people of Osopong Community accused their neighbouring community of Azuofia Edda of masterminding the killing of one of their own who was suspected to have been killed by a cult group.
A 13 year old was killed by gunmen in Zantan village, a Fulani settlement in Kaura Local Council of Kaduna State.
David Agama, a security man with the Cross River State Cultural Board, was stabbed to death in Calabar.
Eight persons were killed by Boko Haram terrorists during an invasion of Dzaku village in Askira, Uba Local Council of Borno State
Mr. Joseph Adeyemi, a local hunter in Ikole-Ekiti shot three of his colleagues in a farm, killing one and injuring two.
A mob alleged beat a thief to death in Brass, bayelsa State.
The Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, raided a militants’ camp in Bayelsa, and killed two suspected militants in a gun duel.
Five students of the College of Education, Gidan Waya, Jema’a Local Government Area, Kaduna State, were reportedly shot dead close to Gidan Waya, when a commercial car taking them to school from Kafanchan was waylaid by herdsmen
Saturday Vanguard gathered that the herdsmen ambushed the taxi carrying six passengers near Gidan Waya, in the troubled southern part of Kaduna State and shot five of the commuters, but spared the life of the driver.
15 persons were killed by rampaging Fulani herdsmen, who attacked farmers in Ipiga village in Ohimini Local Government Area of Benue State.
Some armed herdsmen stormed the neighbouring Ajegbe village, where they grazed their cattle and destroyed farmlands. From there they moved into Ipiga village, shooting sporadically, though they met a stiff resistance from the locals. A bloody fight erupted and two of the herdsmen were reportedly killed, while about 13 of the villagers were also killed.
Seven people died in auto accident at Kula village along Bauchi-Kano road in Bauchi state
Six people died and 20 were injured in two auto accidents at Onitsha, Anambra State.