from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – NIGERIA’S North Central geopolitical zone has emerged the epicentre of banditry in recent weeks.
According to the think-tank Nextier Security, Peace and Development (SPD), the region accounted for 45 deaths of the 70 people killed by militants for the period October 30 – November 5.
The number represents more than 64 percent of the total casualties recorded within the review period.
Niger, the biggest of the 36 states by size, recorded the most casualties (27) due to banditry.
Kaduna and Kogi states follow with nine and six casualties.
The North Central consists of the Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger and Plateau States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, which hosts the capital Abuja.
According to the Nextier SPD, the North West had the second highest casualties by region, with 15 casualties, representing over 21 percent of the casualty toll for the said week.
The South East had the third-highest casualty rate (five) due to reported cases of “unknown gunmen” and mob violence.
The West African country, Africa’s biggest nation by population, Nigeria is also the continent’s most volatile.
The North East is beset by the Islamist Boko Haram but its attacks have subsided amid infighting among the insurgent groups.
– CAJ News