No fewer than 255 Nigerians were killed during the first month of this year as insecurity has continued to worsen across the country, according to a tally by the Civic Media Lab, a not-for-profit organisation that champions media innovation for civic engagement.
More than 258 Nigerians were also kidnapped during the period while about 47 persons were injured in the violence.
Those Nigerians who did not live beyond January were murdered by different armed groups, such as Boko Haram, Fulani killer herdsmen, bandits, kidnappers and others.
Apart from the long-existing notorious armed groups contributing mainly to violent deaths in the country, the Western Nigerian Security Network, better known as Amotekun, has joined the fray.
No fewer than eleven persons were killed by Amotekun in Oyo State last month.However, bandits were mostly responsible for the deaths and abductions, surpassing the dreaded Boko Haram that has caused so many miseries in the North East in over a decade-old insurgency to enthrone Islamic governance.
Boko Haram killed about ten persons and abducted 61 others in January, but bandits killed nearly 141, injured 40 and kidnapped 161 persons.
The bandits’ atrocities happened mainly in Kaduna, Katsina, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba and Zamfara states. In Kaduna State, 57 persons were killed while 31 were kidnapped, making the state the most affected in the country.
Zamfara State came close to Kaduna with 57 fatalities and 18 abducted victims. Other states, such as Katsina, Nasarawa and Niger states recorded more than six violent deaths.
Again, 87 persons were kidnapped in Niger while 25 in Taraba were also abducted.Elsewhere, communal clashes caused 14 deaths. About ten persons were killed in Akwa Ibom and four others were abducted in the state.
In Lagos, Delta, and Abia states, cults and hoodlums caused 23 deaths, with 21 deaths coming from Lagos alone.
In January, other instances of violent deaths included 12 persons who were killed by unidentified gunmen in Delta, six in Rivers, five in Kaduna, four in Oyo, three in Ebonyi, two in Plateau, and one in each in Nasarawa and Taraba.
Gunmen also abducted 20 persons in Nasarawa, 10 in Abuja, three in Rivers, two in Delta, and one in Edo and Oyo states.Herdsmen murdered two persons in Benue and one other person in Delta. They also kidnapped four people in Delta.
Saharareporters, New York