No fewer than 3,125 innocent persons were killed and 2,703 abducted by bandits in northern Nigeria in the last 11 months, a tally by The PUNCH has shown.
The figures were obtained from the Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations’ an American think tank as well as quarterly reports released by the Kaduna State Government from January to September.
These came to the fore on Monday as prominent Nigerians including the National President of the Middle Belt, Dr Pogu Bitrus and the Vice President of Northern Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Joseph John Hayab, berated the Federal Government over the killings.
It was observed that the most affected states are Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Niger and Borno.
While a no fly zone was imposed on Zamfara State in March, the state in September shut down base stations, cutting off telecommunications across all local governments in order to curb the activities of criminals. Kaduna, Sokoto and Katsina later followed suits, shutting borders and transportation in some affected local government areas.
Of all the states affected, only Kaduna led by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, has been releasing figures of casualties every quarter while reports for other states are obtained from the media.
An aggregate by the Kaduna State Government shows that no fewer than 888 people were killed and 2,553 others kidnapped in the state between January and September 2021.