In what appears to be a festival of bloodletting, at least 964 officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Nigerian military were killed in combatant attacks within one year, according to a report by SB Morgen (SBM) Intelligence.
The report released by the research and intelligence firm on Thursday examined combatant attacks in the period of Q4 2020 and Q3 2021.
In recent years, insecurity has worsened in many parts of the country. There have been cases of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, armed robbery, farmers-herders clashes and other violent crimes.
To curb the violent attacks, the country’s military is currently carrying out operations in many parts of the country, especially in the northern part of the country.
Commenting on the county’s rising insecurity, President Muhammadu Buhari, during his Independence Day speech, said the past months have been some of the most difficult periods in the country’s history.
“The past eighteen months have been some of the most difficult periods in the history of Nigeria. Since the civil war, I doubt whether we have seen a period of more heightened challenges than what we have witnessed in this period,” Buhari had said.
In the report, 642 personnel of the Nigerian military and 322 police officers were killed in the period under review.
Operatives of other security agencies were also killed in attacks — 11 personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and five personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service were affected.
Other security agencies include the Department of State Services (2), the Nigeria Immigration Service (2) and Federal Road Safety Corps (1).
The report did not examine the number of civilian deaths within the period under review rather highlights deaths of non-state actors.
BANDITS NOT LEFT OUT OF VIOLENT FATALITIES
In the category of non-state actors, at least 1989 bandits have been killed in the period under review — the highest in the category.
The report also stated that 973 members of Boko Haram and 290 cultists were killed in combatant attacks.
At least 129 vigilantes, 100 members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and nine militants were also killed.
In addition, 99 armed robbers, 88 kidnappers and nine smugglers were affected.
‘NIGERIA AT WAR’
Based on these figures of casualties, the report concluded that Nigeria is at war.
“The Uppsala Conflict Data Programme defines war as a state-based conflict that reaches at least 1000 battle-related deaths in a specific calendar year,” the report says.
“The most known and influential definition was developed by David Singer and Melvin Small in the framework of the ‘Correlates of War (COW)’ project at Michigan University which has assembled statistical data on wars around the world since 1816.
“It also defines war as any violent conflict with at least 1,000 killed combatants in a year. Both definitions exclude genocides and sporadic massacres and make efforts to include only casualties that belong to organised parties to the violence.
“This filtering has given us a total of 964 soldiers and policemen killed in the period, while 3071 people belonging to either Boko Haram, IPOB, or various militant and bandit groups have been killed in that period. The offshoot of this is that we can only say that Nigeria is at war.”