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Insecurity: 2,140 Soldiers, Policemen, NSCDC, Others Killed Under Buhari Presidency

The Nigerian defence and security forces have lost no fewer than 2, 140 security personnel since the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari from May 29, 2015 till date.

They include personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Vigilantes and Joint Task Force (JTF).

The fight against Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorism, banditry, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other non-State actors have taken a huge human toll on the security forces which the defence and security forces are unwilling to disclose.

In fact, it is generally believed that the number of personnel who died in active service is far higher than the data obtained from the Nigeria Security Tracker, media reports and other dependable sources.

The Nigeria Security Tracker data shows that a total of 1,297 soldiers were killed during the review period.

The breakdown showed that 48 defence and security operatives were killed between June and December 2015; 230 in 2016; 164 in 2017; 268 in 2018; 357 in 2019; 609 in 2020; 107 in 2021; 342 in 2022 and 15 in 2023.

The killings were spread across the six geopolitical zones in the country.

For example, about 153 soldiers fell to attacks by Boko Haram and other terrorists groups and suspected herdsmen in 2018. No fewer than 96 policemen were also murdered by gunmen, armed robbers, and bandits in the same year.

Also, 16 Vigilantes and operatives of the JTF were attacked and killed by terrorists, bandits and kidnappers while three NDLEA officers succumbed to their injuries.

The worst hit region was the North-East, followed by the North-West, North-Central, South-South, with the lowest killings recorded in the South-East and South-West.

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At least 30 Nigerian soldiers were said to have been killed during combat with Boko Haram terrorists who overran a military base in Borno State, on September 1, 2018.

In November of the same year, the police in Zamfara State confirmed the killing of 16 of its personnel during a clash with bandits.

Meanwhile, in 2019, about 357 security operatives were killed, with soldiers accounting for about 207; police officers, 30 and NSCDC, 10.

About 110 others were believed to be members of the Civilian Joint Task Force.

Reports also indicate that about 46 soldiers were killed by terrorists in Zamfara between January and June, 2019.

It was also gathered that 101 police officers were killed between January and September, 2019.

In July 2019, a divisional police officer and three other policemen were killed by gunmen following an attack on a police station in Bayelsa State, according to the state police command.

In 2022, a total of 342 security operatives were killed. The breakdown showed that 102 were policemen; 120 soldiers; 116 vigilantes; one Air Force officer; one correctional officer; one NSCDC and one  CJTF.

In July last year, gunmen believed to be bandits killed at least 43 people, including 30 soldiers and seven mobile police personnel in an attack on a mining site in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

A total of 15 security operatives have been killed this year. They include six policemen, seven NSCDC officers and two vigilantes.

The breakdown showed that four officers were killed in Imo state, one in Nasarawa; one in Benin; two in Delta and seven in Kaduna.

Though the Armed Forces of Nigeria has recorded measurable progress in the war against terrorism, the situation on ground has evolved into banditry, kidnapping and other violent criminal activities which the regime has been struggling to contain.

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