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Amidst ‘stabilised security,’ 40 Nigerians killed by non-State actors last week

  • The victims include seven security personnel and 33 civilians

In the week that Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, said that the ‘security situation in the country has been significantly stabilized,’ at least 40 people including three police officers were killed by armed non-State actors.

On Thursday, the Police boss said that not only was the security situation getting better, but the existing cases of insecurity were “isolated cases of crime and threats to public safety, peace and security in some parts of the country.”

However, findings by Premium Times, as part of its weekly review of attacks by armed persons, paint a different picture from what Mr Alkali said.

Last week, between October 24 and 30, at least 40 people were killed in separate incidents across the country. Seven of the victims were security officials while the remaining were civilians.

The security operatives included three police officers, two operatives of the Department of State Services and one Customs official.

The total tally of casualties for the week (October 24-30) was compiled only from media reports, thus, it does not include unreported cases.

Although the 40 people reported killed last week is lower than the 47 killed in the previous week, the number of incidents was higher last week.

Here are the cases compiled from media reports last week.

South-east

Gunmen in the early hours of Sunday attacked the police divisional headquarters at Unwana, Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and killed three police personnel on duty.

According to the report, the gunmen attacked the division at about 2 a.m. and killed one constable and two inspectors.

SSS Officials

Also in the South-east, some gunmen on Friday attacked operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) in Anambra State, killing two personnel.

The officers were said to have been ambushed by the armed persons while on an election campaign duty in the Ekwulobia area of the state.

Another personnel of one of the security agencies also lost his life when troops of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army had an encounter in Anambra State with IPOB/ESN separatists.

North-central

Armed persons attacked a mosque in Maza-Kuka village in Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State, killing 18 worshipers.

It was gathered that the armed persons invaded the village in large numbers and attacked the villagers, who were performing their early morning prayers on Monday.

In neighbouring Kogi State, six persons were killed while some houses were burnt by armed persons in a Monday morning attack on the Bagana community of Omala Local Government Area of Kogi.

The Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Idrisu Dabban, confirmed the incident to reporters after a visit to the area.

North-west

At least six people were reportedly killed while several others were abducted after bandits on Sunday evening raided Unguwar Samanja village in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Also in Katsina, a large group of bandits on Thursday attacked Dangeza, a farming and business community in Batsari Local Government Area and killed five residents.

South-west

Suspected smugglers killed an officer of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Fagbohun village, Yewa South Local Government Area, Ogun State.

The smugglers attacked a patrol team of customs officers from the Federal Operating Unit (FOU) who had arrived in the village for an operation.

Two other officers were reported missing after the attack.

Efforts ongoing to tackle insecurity

Speaking on the security situation Thursday in Abuja, the police chief, Mr Alkali, said the police are making efforts to address the situation.

“The Nigeria Police Force is however unrelenting in rejigging its public safety strategies to adequately contain prevailing and emerging crime trends across the country.”

Mr Alkali said that “the strong collaboration between the police, armed forces and other security agencies” led to what he described as “the improved security situation in the country.”

“Let me state categorically that the new spirit of collaboration between the Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Armed Forces, the Department of State Services and other security and intelligence agencies in the country has indeed spurred a common front in reducing crime and criminality nationwide,” he said.

Originally published by Premium Times

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