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How non-state actors killed 1,228 people, kidnapped 844 in first four months of 2023



Less than an hour into 2023, a tragic incident occurred in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital — a couple identified as Fatinoyes were killed after gunmen attacked their residence. The incident marked the beginning of violent attacks by gunmen in the year. 

Data sourced from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and National Security Tracker (NST), analysed by TheCable Index, the data and research arm of TheCable, shows that a total of 1,228 people were reportedly killed while 844 have been kidnapped in Nigeria between January 1 and April 30, 2023, representing a period of four months.

Further analysis by TheCable Index revealed that an average of 10 persons were reportedly killed, and 7 were kidnapped daily in violent attacks reported within the first four months of 2023.

According to the data analysed, a total of 407 persons were killed in the north-west, 389 in the north-central, 128 in the north-east, 118 in the south-east, 106 in the south-south and 80 in the south-west. All summing up to 1,228 casualties.


Out of the total killings, 1,074 were unarmed Nigerians, 68 vigilantes, 50 police officers, 20 soldiers, 10 officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), 3 immigration officers, 2 security guards and 1 officer of the vehicle inspection service.

The spate of abductions during the period under review is also not appealing. Out of the 844 cases, the north-central came first with a whooping 359 kidnapped; north-west, 292; south-south, 84; south-east, 70; south-west, 20; and north-east, 19. This means the northern region had 670 people kidnapped while 174 were from the southern region.


Also, TheCable Index analysed that more Nigerians were kidnapped in April than in the three previous months. In January, sourced data showed that 197 persons were kidnapped, 137 in February, 238 in March and 272 in April.

It is imperative to state that in extracting data for this report, TheCable Index excluded the killings carried out by security operatives and the death of suspected criminals like kidnappers, armed robbers, bandits, and Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters.


The media reports sourced from NST analysed for this report have been compiled here.


  • Between January 1 and April 30, 1,228 people have been killed in Nigeria.
  • In the same time frame, 844 people were kidnapped in the country.
  • Out of the total killings, 1,074 were armless Nigerians, 68 vigilantes, 50 police officers, 20 soldiers, 10 officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), 3 immigration officers, 2 security guards and 1 officer of the vehicle inspection service.
  • The killings during the 120 days under review keep increasing month-on-month: 179 in January, 280 in February, 328 in March and 441 in April.
  • Benue had the highest reported death toll with 232 casualties.
  • Akwa Ibom and Jigawa had the lowest with 2 reported death each.
  • With 211 reported cases, Zamfara was first in terms of abduction.
  • Bauchi, Ekiti and Oyo recorded the lowest cases of abduction, with 1 recorded abduction in each state in the period under review.
  • Boko Haram/ISWAP firefighters, bandits, unknown gunmen, robbers, kidnappers, cultists, and gunmen were the non-state actors who killed Nigerians the most during the months under review.


According to the data analysed, the north-west geo-political zone recorded the highest number of reported fatalities as 407 persons were killed in the zone. TheCable Index observed that the south-west geo-political zone recorded the least reported death toll among the six zones of the federation.


In terms of fatality, the north-west was closely followed by the north-central with 389 deaths, while the north-east recorded 128 casualties.  The northern region accounted for 75.24 percent of the killings in the first four months of 2023, while the southern region accounted for 24.75 percent of deaths in the period under review.


In the southern region of the country, the south-east zone recorded the highest death toll with 118 casualties. The south-south zone had 106 deaths, while the south-west recorded 80 casualties.



In January 2023, an analysis by TheCable Index revealed that while 179 persons were killed in 22 states, 197 were kidnapped in 21 states of the country.

Out of the 179 casualties, 138 of them were armless civilians, 19 vigilantes, 12 police officers, 2 soldiers, 7 NSCDC officers and 1 vehicle inspection officer.


Per zonal distribution, in the north-central, 51 persons were killed while 60 were kidnapped; 50 killed, 18 kidnapped in the south-east; 32 killed, 49 kidnapped in the north-west; 21 killed, 50 kidnapped in the south-south; 19 killed, 11 kidnapped in the south-west; while 6 killed, 9 kidnapped in the 6 states of the north-east.

For state-by-state death analysis for the month under review, Benue came first with 30 death, Kaduna, 25; Anambra and Imo, 18; Niger, 13; Delta and Ebonyi, 10 each; Edo, 9; Ondo, 7; Bauchi, Katsina and Lagos, 6 each; Enugu, Kwara, Ogun, Osun, 3 each; Nasarawa, Plateau and Rivers; 2 each; while Abia, Abuja and Jigawa had 1 death each.

We also checked how states fared in terms of kidnapping. Our analysis showed that Edo tops the rank with 47, Katsina, 37; Kwara, 19; Niger, 17; Nasarawa, 12; Imo, 11; Kaduna, 9; Osun and Taraba, 8 each; Abuja and Enugu, 6 each; Kogi, 4; Zamfara, 3; Cross River and Plateau, 2; while Anambra, Bauchi, Delta, Ekiti, Ogun and Oyo had 1 abduction each.

You can check through the data here.


For the 28 days in the month of February, a total of 280 people were killed across 31 states in Nigeria. This implies that an average of 10 persons were killed each day.

Decimating the death figures into categories, 214 were armless civilians, 42 vigilantes, 19 police officers, 4 soldiers and a security guard.

Per state-by-state death analysis for the month under review, Katsina came first with 102 death, followed by Benue, 41; Anambra, 20; Rivers, 12; and Osun, 10. While Akwa Ibom, Abuja, Lagos and Zamfara had 2 each, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kogi and Kwara had just 1 death each.

State Number killed
Katsina 102
Benue 41
Anambra 20
Rivers 12
Osun 10
Delta 8
Enugu 8
Niger 8
Taraba 8
Ondo 6
Ebonyi 5
Kebbi 5
Plateau 5
Kaduna 4
Ogun 4
Abia 3
Bayelsa 3
Cross River 3
Edo 3
Imo 3
Kano 3
Oyo 3
Akwa Ibom 2
Federal Capital Territory 2
Lagos 2
Zamfara 2
Bauchi 1
Gombe 1
Jigawa 1
Kogi 1
Kwara 1
Total 280

Grouping these states to zone, the north-west leads with 116 casualties as the north-central came second with 58, south-east, 39; south-south, 31; south-west, 25 and north-east, 11.

During the month under review, 137 persons — including 15 corp members — were abducted in 9 states of the federation.

Analysing state-by-state, Kaduna led with 64 reported abductions in the media, Anambra, 24; Katsina, 15; Abuja, 13; Niger, 10; Cross River, 5; Ebonyi, 4; as Imo and Plateau had 1 each.

If these 9 states are to be grouped into zones, north-west had 79, south-east, 29; north-central, 24 and south-south, 5.

With respect to our computation and data analysis, no case of kidnapping was reported in the media from the north-east and south-west geopolitical zines in February.

You can check through the data here.


For the month of March, analysis by TheCable Index revealed that 328 persons were killed.

Further checks showed that out of the 328 killed, 307 of them were civilians, 7 were vigilantes, 5 police officers, 5 soldiers, 3 NSCDC officials and a security guard.

Spreading these figures across the states of the federation, Zamfara had 56, Kaduna, 39; Benue, 37; Borno, 36; Niger, 35; Katsina, 27; Taraba, 15; Rivers, 12; Delta, 8; Anambra and Edo, 7 each; Lagos and Nasarawa, 6 each; Enugu and Oyo, 5 each; Bayelsa, Ogun and Plateau, 4 each; Imo, Kano and Osun, 3 each; Bauchi and Ebonyi, while Kwara and Sokoto had 1 each.

Going by the above figures, we can agree that the north-west had the chunk of casualties in March with 126 persons killed, north-central, 83; north-east, 53; south-south, 31; south-west, 18 and south-east 17.

Also, during the month under review, 238 were kidnapped in 15 states of the federation.

State Number Kidnapped
Niger 113
Kaduna 46
Imo 19
FCT 15
Kogi 13
Edo 8
Borno 7
Cross River 4
Kwara 3
Taraba 3
Rivers 2
Zamfara 2
Ondo 1
Osun 1
Plateau 1
Total 238

These states, if grouped into geopolitical zones, the north-central scoops 145, north-west, 48; south-east, 19; south-south, 14; north-east, 10; and south-west, 2.

You can check through the data here.


TheCable Index insecurity data analysis for April revealed that while 441 persons were killed, no fewer than 272 were abducted across Nigerian states.

Out of the 441 killed, 415 of them were civilians, 14 police officers, 9 soldiers and 3 officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).

On the basis of zonal analysis, the north-central came first with 197 death, north-west, 133; north-east, 58; south-west, 18 and south-east, 12.

Breaking down the zones into states, Benue topped with 124 casualties, Kaduna, 57; Kebbi, 40; Plateau and Taraba, 36; Zamfara, 20; Nasarawa, 17; Imo, Kogi and Rivers, 12 each; and Yobe, 11.

Kwara, 2; Bauchi, Bayelsa and Oyo had the lowest figure as only one was killed in each of the states.

State Number killed
Benue 124
Kaduna 57
Kebbi 40
Plateau 36
Taraba 36
Zamfara 20
Nassarawa 17
Imo 12
Kogi 12
Rivers 12
Yobe 11
Sokoto 10
Borno 8
Kano 8
Lagos 5
Ondo 5
Edo 4
Ogun 4
Adamawa 3
Delta 3
Ekiti 3
Abuja 3
Niger 3
Kwara 2
Bauchi 1
Bayelsa 1
Oyo 1
Total 441

During the month, out of the 272 persons that were kidnapped across 18 states, 130 were from the north-central, 116 from the north-west, 15 from the south-south and 7 from the south-west. The northeast had no figure.

State Number kidnapped
Zamfara 103
Federal Capital Territory 50
Niger 34
Kaduna 20
Benue 17
Delta 10
Kogi 10
Borno 5
Ondo 4
Rivers 4
Anambra 3
Kano 3
Nassarawa 3
Osun 2
Akwa Ibom 1
Enugu 1
Ogun 1
Plateau 1

You can check through the data here.

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