A new report has revealed that no fewer than 25,794 Nigerians were killed in different violent crises across the country during the first four years of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The figure was contained in a report released by the Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-profit think tank specialising in United States foreign policy and international affairs.
The figure represents those killed by different insurgent groups including Boko Haram, ISWAP, in the North, herdsmen, and people who died in extrajudicial activities of the military.
According to the report, from June 2015 to May 2019, Borno suffered the highest casualties, recording 9,303 deaths. The state was followed by Zamfara (1,963) and Adamawa (1,529).
Others captured in the map are Kaduna (1,488), Plateau (771), Taraba (649), Benue (1,642), Niger (252) Rivers (730), Cross River (467), Ogun (301), among others.
Within the four years timeline, Boko Haram was responsible for 5,598 deaths, while sectarian violence, including the herdsmen-farmers crisis led to 4,917 deaths.
State actors alone, including the military, were said to have killed 4,068 people.
During the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan (June 2011 to May 2015), a total of 34,884 people were reportedly killed across the country.
The Council on Foreign Relations, while explaining the methodology behind the data, said it relied on media reports.
The report said, “The Nigeria Security Tracker tracks violence that is both causal and symptomatic of Nigeria’s political instability and citizen alienation. The data are based on weekly surveys of Nigerian and international media.
“The data start with May 29, 2011, the date of Goodluck Jonathan’s inauguration as president. It was an event that highlighted the increasing bifurcation of the country on regional and religious lines. The NST is updated weekly.
“Relying on press reports of violence presents methodological limitations. There is a dearth of accurate reporting across certain regions, death tolls are imprecise, and accounts of incidents vary. There is the potential for political manipulation of media. Given these limitations, the NST makes every effort to collect information from multiple sources. Nevertheless, NST statistics should be viewed as indicative rather than definitive.”
President Buhari has made security a major focus of his second term, saying criminals under any guise would be brought to book.