LIFE-COUNT: Analyses Of Deaths In Nigeria This January
It has been a red January for Nigeria as the beginning of the year 2020 has been filled with deaths which again brings to the fore the level of insecurity and how much premium the government places on the lives of its people.
About 200 people have lost their lives in Nigeria due to issues around in security, terrorist attacks and Lassa fever breakout and other sundry incidents like armed robbery, road accidents, fire accidents etc. This deaths shows a trend in Nigeria and
Boko Haram Insurgents alone killed over 60 people over the 31 days January, 2020. On the 2nd of January, the Nigerian troops killed over 4 Boko Haram members in a gun battle at Michika area of Adamawa state. On the 3rd of January, the insurgents attacked Bila-Ambolda community in Chibok area of Borno State, killing 3 people. They later attacked Gamboru in Borno killing 30 on 6th January, then Monguno in the Lake Chad area where another 3 was killed. On the 23rd of January, there was the death of 10 people in Dikwa LGA, in Borno and another attack was recorded on the 25th January in Gwoza, also in Borno, killing one person. In betwen this time, the most devastating of Boko Haram attack is the beheading of Reverend Father Lawan Andimi, the CAN president of Michika Local Government, Adamawa after the requested ransom was not paid by the federal government and that of the University of Maiduguri student of University who was also abducted and killed by a young member of Boko Haram.
The Nigerian military killed another 24 terrorists in the North-East part of the country while ISWAP, a faction of Boko Haram also killed three soldiers and two health workers.
This surge in deaths in the first month of the year seem surprising from a group the Nigerian government has claimed to have decimated and technically defeated.
The major deaths recorded in January are the ones by bandits and herdsmen. They are responsible for the deaths of over 104 people in Nigeria in the last month.
19 people lost their lives to bandits in Tawari Community in Kogi State, an army officer and three other civilians were killed in Munya Local government in Niger. Another 12 people were killed in Mangu Local Government in Plateau state.
29 people also lost their lives when bandits attacked a village in Gummi Local Government in Zamfara state. In the same month, there were 24 recorded kidnappings while a journalist, Alex Ogbu, was killed by police while covering a protest in Abuja. 41 people also died from a renewed outbreak of Lassa Fever in several states in the country.
According to Director of the Civic Media Lab, Seun Akinfolarin, the rise in deaths is alarming and while the country was still battling insurgency, President Muhammadu Buhari announced Visa free entry to all Africans even when the government itself had admitted foreign influence in the current insecurity crises.
“It is obvious the government does not place a premium on the lives of people. Where are the Tucano jets bought from the United States in the last two years? What is the value of that investment to the current reality? Is it not waste of resources?” Akinfolarin asked.
He added that the call of the sack of security chiefs over inability to secure the country was not out of place, urging the government to also tackle poverty as it is the harbinger of insurgency.
“You can’t keep doing the same thing, even when the people we are fighting are showing sophistication and not take drastic steps. But overall, no military can defeat poverty, if the country is prosperous and we don’t have as many poor people with no employment or hopes of getting one perhaps that will help us out of this situation, and that seem a daunting task,” he added.