According to reports, the North East has lead as terrorists, among others killed 53,418 under president Buhari.
The PUNCH reports that no fewer than 53,418 Nigerians lost their lives to non-state actors between May 29, 2015 and October 15, 2022. The deaths occurred mostly from farmers/herders’ conflict, clashes by religious groups, and attacks by terrorists and bandits.
The data of Nigerians killed since the inception of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), were obtained from the Nigerian Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations of the United States of America.
Insecurity has worsened under the regime with some state governors instructing their citizens to bear arms to defend themselves despite the current embargo on the issuance of firearm licences. Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State and Aminu Massari of Katsina State have made several calls in that regard.
It was also on the same matter of insecurity that frustrated federal lawmakers threatened to impeach the President.
Nigeria’s killing field
A breakdown of the killings by geo-political zones showed that the South-West region recorded no fewer than 2,170 deaths in the period under review with Ekiti having 109; Ondo, 340; Osun, 198; Ogun, 507; Oyo, 310; and Lagos, 706.
A total of 3,688 deaths were recorded in the South-South region with Akwa Ibom State having 373; Bayelsa, 350; Cross River, 685; Delta, 720; Edo, 463; and Rivers, 1,097.
In the South-East region, Abia recorded 249 killings; Anambra, 613; Ebonyi, 562; Enugu, 273; and Imo, 574, thus making a total of 2,271.
The North-Central region, including the Federal Capital Territory, recorded a total of 8,593 deaths with Benue topping with 2,771; Niger, 2,572; Plateau, 1,709; Kogi, 654; Nasarawa, 320; FCT, 317; and Kwara, 250.
The North-East region, which is the epicentre of Boko Haram and ISWAP insurgency, recorded the highest number of deaths in the period under review with a total of 23,106. Borno State recorded 18,213 deaths; Adamawa 1,853; Yobe, 1,375; Taraba, 1,335; Bauchi, 169; and Gombe 161.
According to the report, a total of 13,590 persons have so far been killed under Buhari in the North- West region, where 2,037 lives have been wasted in the President’s home state of Katsina. However, Zamfara leads with 5,6164 deaths; Sokoto, 872; Kaduna, 530; Kebbi, 331; Kano, 149; and Jigawa, 55.
Arm yourselves – Danjuma
A former Minister of Defence, Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), on Saturday, reiterated his call on Nigerians, especially residents of Taraba State, to acquire arms and defend themselves and their territories against bandits.
Danjuma made the call during the coronation and presentation of staff of office to the 25th Aku Uka of Wukari, Adda Ishaku Ali, in the Wukari Local Government Area of the state.
He lamented that innocent Nigerians were being attacked and killed by bandits, who were being allegedly guided by troops to perpetrate the act.
Danjuma said, “When I said the military were colluding with the armed bandits in 2017, the then minister of defence set up a kangaroo commission of enquiry that mischievously submitted that there was no evidence about my claim and they asked me to come and defend it.
“I thank God today that the evidence is very clear to all Nigerians now.
“Many Nigerian communities are now being sacked by the same bandits that I alleged and all these bandits are foreigners.
“As a soldier, I must say that the best way to defend is to attack. I will not buy arms for you. But I urge you to find out how those attacking you acquired arms, and then acquire the arms and attack back to defend yourselves and your territory.”
He added, “I congratulate you, the new supreme ruler of the great Kwararafa Kingdom, the Aku Uka of Wukari.
“I must advice you to embrace peace and ensure its existence, but I must also tell you to defend your territory and the people.
“You are surrounded by the armed bandits, who are out to kill and destabilise the peace of your territory and you must exploit serious efforts to defend your people and the territory.”
Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, and his Plateau State counterpart, Simon Lalong, called on the Aku Uka, Ishaku Manu Ada Ali, to follow the historical footsteps of his predecessors to rule the kingdom with justice.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, appealed to traditional rulers within the Aku’s jurisdiction to give him the needed support to succeed and asked the youth and politicians to carry out their political campaigns in peace.
Commenting on this, a security analyst, Timothy Avele, attributed the rising insecurity across the country to the lack of prosecution of arrested suspects, ease of getting firearms and the rising unemployment rate in the country.
He also explained that criminal activities were spreading as a result of the relocation of criminals to different parts of the country.
Avele said, “The factors are many. However, some of the terrorists being dislodged from the North-East by the military are moving down to other places in the country and engaging in crimes. Secondly, because violent crimes pay more in Nigeria with no arrest and conclusive persecution, the majority now see it as their share of the national cake.
“Thirdly, getting sophisticated weapons in Nigeria is as simple as buying garri in the market as long as you have cash, because we do not have strategic intelligence planning and management. Of course, if you add the reducing purchasing power of the citizens and unemployment, then you have the drivers of insecurity in Nigeria.”
Avele added that the current regime had spent the most amounts on security in history, stressing that there had been lack of proper monitoring of how the funds were being expended.
He said, “Truth be told, I think this administration has made the biggest budget in the security and defence sector. However, I score the administration 35 per cent in proper implementation and monitoring of the huge funds budgeted and released for security and defence.
“The funds are spent, but the results on the ground indicate a poor usage by those concerned, and sadly, no questions are being asked by those who are supposed to ask questions.”
A development economist, Aliyu Ilias, said the increase in allocation to the security sector was in line with the rising insecurity in the country.
“Security keeps increasing and there is the need to buy more equipment; so, it is understandable that there is an increase in budgetary allocations,” he stated.
He said there was corruption in the system and stressed the need for transparency in the use of allocated funds.
Ilias added, “There is a collapse as a result of corruption in the long run. Because if there is no corruption, the money will be properly used and we will see the rippling effects on the environment.
“The budget itself is not well structured in terms of the expenditure. Also, there is hardly any probe of some expenditure carried out by the Armed Forces. There should be a detailed report on how money is being spent.”
He also questioned the amount for security vote being controlled by state governors, which he noted had not been effectively utilised in combating insecurity in the various states.
A professor of Economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Sheriffdeen Tella, agreed that the rising level of insecurity had led to increase in budgetary allocations.
He said, “The level of insecurity has been rising. Definitely, there is the quest for more equipment. This is responsible for the increase in the budget. It simply means the level of insecurity is rising, which should not be.”
He said there was a need for some level of transparency in how the allocated funds were being utilised in order to eliminate corruption in the system.
“Also, we have to look at whether those things that were requested were actually supplied. We have found out in the recent past that the military does not buy what they are supposed to buy; they only send people to the war zone without the required ammunition. So, corruption is a part of it,” Tella added.
Senators spare Buhari
Some Peoples Democratic Party senators have explained why the impeachment move against the President has been stalled by the National Assembly.
The lawmakers, who spoke exclusively to Sunday PUNCH, explained that they had to shelve the plan to remove Buhari because of his quick response and deliberate actions to curb the increasing level of insecurity across the country.
One of the lawmakers, Senator Gershom Bassey, representing the Cross River South Senatorial District, emphasised that their action was not for the President to be impeached, but to ensure safety and security in Nigeria.
“As I mentioned earlier, the issue wasn’t about impeachment, it was more of us standing up to the occasion on insecurity. The entire outburst was to ensure that the country was safe for the citizens. That was why we told Mr President to provide security or quit,” Bassey stated.
In the same vein, the lawmaker representing Edo South Senatorial District, Senator Matthew Uroghide, said, “When you put up a demand and the demand is met, even if it’s not 100 per cent, will you continue the agitation? No. That walkout staged by senators elected on the platform of the PDP wasn’t a show; we had discussions on the floor and even at the executive session before we came to the plenary.
“Everybody was already tired. We had debated about security on the floor of the Senate for the umpteenth time. So, we said if the President did not have a clue, let him go. Let’s bring in somebody who will have a clue if a former General in the Nigerian Army has no clue about what is happening.
“But immediately after, you saw that the President took action. The President himself must have seen that the issue was beyond the Senate President himself.”
He added that the issue was purely about security and transcended every other sentiment, which was why most of the lawmakers were in support of the impeachment threat, including members of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Some members of the National Assembly across party lines had before embarking on their two-month annual vacation had on July 27, 2022, vowed to commence an impeachment process against the President over his failure to curb the worsening insecurity in the country.
Reps summon IG
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has summoned the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, over the extrajudicial killing of one Olamide Tosin Ariyo by men of the Nigeria Police Force in Ogun State on August 19, 2021.
The committee will on Tuesday grill The IG and other parties in the case, according to documents obtained by one of our correspondents on Saturday.
The Chairman of the committee, Jerry Alagbaoso, in a letter addressed to the petitioner and lawyers to the Ariyo family, O. A. Rahman, Abdullahi & Co, asked the IG, who is the respondent, and the petitioner to appear before the lawmakers on Tuesday.
The letter was titled, ‘O. A. Rahman, Abdullahi & Co., on behalf of the Ariyo Tosin Olamide Family against the Inspector-General of Police; Assistant Inspector-General, Force CID, Alagbon; and officers of DCP X-Squad Team, Force CID, Alagbon, Lagos, led by DSP Dele Ajibade, for shielding the five police officers that participated in the gruesome murder of Ariyo Tosin Olamide from prosecution’.
“Whereas the above named petition is now pending before this committee and the particulars of the petition aforesaid are already within your knowledge; and whereas the petition has been assigned to be heard by the committee for determination, you are hereby required to note sections 88 and 89(c) of our (1999) Constitution (as amended) and appear in person before this committee on Tuesday, 25th day of October, 2022, at 2pm or so soon thereafter as the committee shall direct,” the letter read in part.
A member of the House representing the Ifo/Ewekoro Federal Constituency, Ibrahim Isiaka, had on September 27, 2022, laid the petition before the House in plenary, and the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, referred it to the committee for investigation.
The petition, signed by the lead counsel, Chief Lukman Abdullahi, was addressed to the Speaker of the House.
It was titled, ‘Petition against (1) Inspector-General of Police, (2) Assistant Inspector-General of Police Force CID Alagbon, and (3) officers of the DCP X-Squad Team, Force CID, Alagbon, Lagos State, led byy DSP Dele Ajibade, for shielding the five police officers that participated in the gruesome murder of Ariyo Tosin Olamide from prosecution’.
The petition read in part, “We are the firm of solicitors acting for Ariyo Tosin Olamide’s family of No. 2 Unity Close, Abuja Drive B, Olambe, Ogun State, who was killed on 19th of August, 2021, by five officers of the Nigeria Police Force, Anti-kidnapping Unit, State Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
“Fact, which prompted this petition, are as follows: Ariyo Tosin Olamide, a 25-year-old young man, who was living at No. 2 Aseko, Idi-Iroko, opposite Jokuns filling station, Idi-Iroko, Ogun State, was travelling to Abeokuta, Ogun State, in his Honda Accord car to join his fiancé, Majekodunmi Adebimpe Temitope, to celebrate her birthday on the 19th of August, 2021. He was alone in the vehicle when he left Idi-Iroko.
“Along the Papa-Lanto Road, the anti-kidnapping team was on stop-and-search. Unfortunately, Ariyo Tosin Olamide was gruesomely murdered by five police officers led by Inspector Adebayo of the Anti-Kidnapping Department, State Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
“At the time of the shooting, an oncoming vehicle driver, who witnessed the shooting of Ariyo Tosin Olamide, contacted the family and narrated how Ariyo Tosin Olamide was murdered by the five police officers of the Anti-Kidnapping Team, State Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta, Ogun State, for failure to give them a bribe.
“In a twist of events, by the time the family got to the state headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta, Ogun State, the officers of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit had changed the story. The five police officers had filed a report that Ariyo Tosin Olamide was an armed robber, who engaged the five police officers in a shootout.
“The story, according to the anti-kidnapping officers, was that Ariyo Tosin Olamide was driving on a high speed along the Papalanto-Ilaro Road in a fully tinted vehicle and when he was flagged down, he refused to stop and the occupants of his vehicle shot sporadically at the police officers, but the shots missed the targets, prompting the police officers to retaliate by shooting back at the occupants.
“According to the police officers, when Ariyo Tosin Olamide was shot, he was hit in the neck, but he continued driving and when the vehicle came to a stop, the two occupants at the back opened the car doors and ran away.
“The five officers of the Anti-Kidnapping Department thereafter planted a gun and ammunition in the vehicle of Ariyo Tosin Olamide and tagged the innocent boy an armed robber.
“To start with, Ariyo Tosin Olamide’s Honda Accord car was not tinted. Again, the scene of the incident was very close to a military checkpoint. One of the military officers joined an eyewitness to search the car when they got there around 11am and there were no arms and ammunition found in the car. But the police claimed that they found the gun and ammunition in the car around 2pm.”
The petitioner recalled that the Ogun State Police Command, in a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, alleged that Ariyo was an armed robber and photographs showing a gun with some pieces of ammunition placed in the car.
According to the lawyers, the family wrote a petition dated September 24, 2021, to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja, against the accused officers.
The DIG CID was said to have assigned the petition to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Force CID, Alagbon, Lagos State, who in turn assigned it to the DCP, X-Squad Department, Force CID, Alagbon for proper and thorough investigation.
The lawyers said during the investigation, the X-Squad Department, Force CID, brought the five police officers face-to-face with the victim’s family.
“The five police officers of the Anti-Kidnapping Department, in the presence of the deceased’s family, confessed that it was Inspector Adebayo that shot Ariyo Tosin Olamide and that Ariyo Tosin Olamide was not an armed robber. It was discovered that it was after the gruesome murder of Ariyo Tosin Olamide that the five police officers of the Anti-Kidnapping Department planted a gun and ammunition in Ariyo Tosin Olamide’s car to cover up their dastard act,” the petition added.