By Charles Kumolu
A better way of realising the real danger posed by insecurity in Nigeria is through figures.
If you had lived in denial or underestimated the scale of the crisis, the perception changes henceforth.
As you are reading this, Boko Haram may be on its next mission while bandits and suspected herdsmen may have just concluded killings in some rural communities.
Deal with this: From the beginning of January to date, no fewer than 320 citizens have died needlessly, findings by Sunday Vanguard revealed. A breakdown implied that about 10 avoidable deaths occurred daily in January.
They mostly died in the hands of Boko Haram insurgents, suspected herdsmen, and bandits.
Other forms of violent deaths occurred but those earlier mentioned are more recurring with Boko Haram taking the lead.
Suspected herdsmen and bandits followed with their activities spread across the country, unlike Boko Haram that operates mostly in the North-East geopolitical zone.
Kidnappers continued with their reign of terror as some victims still don’t live to recount their ordeal.
Just like previous years, perpetrators are as daring as ever while citizens are now more vulnerable than any other time. The absence of accountability for masterminds continues.
Borno, Plateau, Niger and Kogi states led with the highest number of deaths in the last 30 days.
Boko Haram accounted for virtually all cases in Borno the same way bandits and herdsmen were responsible for similar incidents across the country.
Within the time under review, road crashes occasioned by failed roads and other reasons also claimed many lives across the states.
Others also died in some violent acts like jungle justice and armed robbery attacks.
This year’s figures do not surpass what was obtained about this time last year by the Council on Foreign Relations, CFR, a US-based nonpartisan think tank, under its Nigeria Security Tracker, NST, programme.
The organisation monitors levels of violence by collating local media reports.
The combined estimate of CFR’s findings last January was more than 400 deaths.
However, the lesser numbers recorded last month do not mean that the rate of insecurity reduced in January, unlike the previous year.
State actors like soldiers, air force personnel and police were also victims of violent deaths last month.
Insurgents were also killed by the military but Sunday Vanguard could not independently state the actual number.
As of June last year, CFR said no fewer than 35,325 Nigerians had been killed by Boko Haram alone from 2011-2019.
With the January figures, the numbers are definitely growing in the face of what analysts described as official denial.
In November 2019, Global Terrorism Index, GTI, pegged the number of those killed by herdsmen in the previous year at 1,700.
The sect killed more than Boko Haram within that year.
The number of deaths recorded in the first month of this year suggests that should the trend continue, more Nigerians may be killed by December.
Sunday Vanguard could not get official figures from the Police as Public Relations Officer, PRO, of the force, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Frank Mba did not respond to calls on his telephone. But details of deaths across the country give more insight into the danger Nigeria faces.
Nigerian soldiers killed eight Boko Haram terrorists when the sect members tried to infiltrate Michika in Adamawa State.
Twenty-three persons were killed as suspected gunmen, believed to be herdsmen invaded Tawari community in Kogi Local Government Area, LGA, of Kogi State.
At least 30 people were killed in Borno after an improvised explosive device detonated on a bridge. It happened in Gamboru
Suspected pirates killed four Nigerian Navy operatives and abducted three foreign sailors in an attack on a dredging ship.
Armed assailants raided the oil dredger MV Ambika as it worked in the waterways of the Niger Delta
AFP reported that at least three soldiers were killed in intense fighting between soldiers and Islamist militants around a key garrison town in the Lake Chad area. It quoted a security source security. The soldiers died when an army vehicle burst into flames after a car filled with explosives rammed into a convoy.
Plateau State Police Command said gunmen, suspected to be herdsmen, killed 12 persons and injured one at Kulben village of Kombun District of Mangu Local Government Area.
Pandemonium ensued when an army officer and three soldiers were reportedly killed by bandits in the Gwarm village, Munya Local Government Area of Niger State.
According to reports from the area, the soldiers, who were on routine patrol, ran into an ambush by the bandits, which led to their death.
Bandits killed 29 people in Babban Rafi village, Gummi LGA of Zamfara State.They stormed the village in a commando-style, shot sporadically and killed many people, while others scampered for safety.
Bandits attacked the convoy of Alhaji Umaru Bubaram Emir of Postikum, killing six people.
Boko Haram terrorists reportedly killed eight soldiers during a battle in Mainok, near Maiduguri.
It happened at 1:00 p.m. in Mainok, about 60 kilometres west of Maiduguri. The insurgents camouflaged in a police vehicle and approached a military base, a military source in Maiduguri said. They then opened fire on unsuspecting soldiers near their trench.
One soldier and four Boko Haram militants were killed during an attack on an aid facility in Ngala, Borno.
Sectarian violence led to four deaths in Igalamela-Odolu, Kogi State.
Boko Haram killed four soldiers and kidnapped scores in Bama, Borno.
Vandals tampered with a pipeline, leading to an explosion that killed five in Alimosho, Lagos.
Eight soldiers and several Boko Haram militants were killed during a battle in Kaga, Borno.
Gunmen killed four in Keana, Nassarawa.
No fewer than 17 soldiers were reportedly killed while many others were abducted in two confrontations between the military and
Boko Haram insurgents on Bama-Gwoza Highway. The number of casualties on the Boko Haram side was high.
Boko Haram insurgents killed the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev Lawal Andimi, after refusing a ransom offered for his release.
Gunmen killed one and kidnapped fourteen in Batsari, Katsina.
The Islamic State of West Africa Province,ISWAP, an armed group formerly part of Boko Haram, issued a video of a boy executing a man identified as a Christian hostage
Suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked a United Nations facility housing several aid groups in Ngala, Borno State. At least 20 internally displaced persons waiting for assistance at the facility were killed,
Boko Haram killed 10 loggers in Dikwa, Borno.
Twin suicide bombers linked to Boko Haram sect attacked a mosque in Gwoza, Borno State, killing a 12-year-old child and leaving many people injured.
Gunmen killed 13 people, including two women at Kwatas village in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Armed bandits were again on the rampage in some Niger communities, killing 11 people, kidnapping scores, and raping women.
The incident took place at about 6 am at Kudodo, Galapai, Dnakpala, Makera, and Dnalgwa villages of Shiroro Local Government Area.
Auto crash killed one on Ijebu -Ode-Ore Expressway.
Two people died in another auto crash in Bida, Niger-State.
Three women died in a fatal auto crash in Ibadan.
A policeman attached to one of the new generation banks in Ekeki suburbs of Yenagoa, killed a driver, NYSC member, one other in Bayelsa.
Three persons reportedly died while nine others were injured in two fatal road crashes that occurred in Ore, Odigbo Council Area in Ondo State.
Two unidentified middle-aged men were set ablaze by a mob for robbing a barber’s shop.
Armed bandits killed one Yasir Usman in an attack in Katsina.
Yobe State fire service confirmed that a mother and her three daughters were killed in a fire incident.
Four Air force officers were shot dead by bandits in Kaduna.
Farmers/herders clash claimed two in Edo State. They were killed in Sobe, Owan LGA.
Four naval ratings were killed in Gbagira Village, Ilaje LGA of Ondo State while rescuing three foreigners from pirates.
Two persons died when a petrol laden truck exploded at Agudu village in Tarka LGA.
Federal Road Safety Corps,FRSC, Niger command, said eight people died in an auto crash on Kagara Birnin Gwari road of Rafi LGA.
Five people died as pipeline fire razed homes, vehicles in Lagos.
17 died in motor accident in Kastina.
Tragedy struck in Ayegbaju Ekiti in Oye LGA of Ekiti State as two persons were crushed to death by a fast-moving vehicle driven by a university student.
Mob set Ablaze two suspected POS robbers at the Biogbolo suburb of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Man stabs girlfriend to death for receiving a phone call from a male friend in Bauchi.
Fighter aircraft of the Nigerian Air force, NAF destroyed an Islamic State of West Africa province, killing many terrorists in the process.
Tragedy struck at Etitiama Nkporo community in Ohafia council area of Abia State when a man, identified as Kalu Ilum, allegedly shot his wife. He was set ablaze for the act by a mob.
Suspected herdsmen killed a farmer and policeman in Owan community in Ovia North East LGA of Edo State.
Fifteen people were feared dead, while 38 others sustained injuries in Ogun State, in a lone accident involving a Mitsubishi bus that fell into a ditch.
Seven persons, including the village head of Tundun Doki in Gwadabawa LGA, Alhaji Hayatu Ardo were killed.
A serving member of National Youth Service Corps in Osun State, Adebayo Mukaila was reportedly killed by a two-man armed robbery gang.
A housewife Rabi, allegedly set herself ablaze over jealousy and rivalry in Gayawa area, Ungogo Local Government Area of Kano State.