News: Police continue VIP duties as bandits, terrorists kill over 269 in April


The Nigeria Police has continued to assign cops to VIPs, including entertainers and businessmen, for personal security, despite the rising insecurity in the country and an order that such escort duties should stop, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.

While checks by Saturday PUNCH showed that at least 269 people, including security agents, were killed by bandits and terrorists in April alone, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said on Friday that no fewer than 323 persons were killed and 949 kidnapped by bandits in Kaduna State alone in the last three months.

Saturday PUNCH arrived at the figure of 269 persons killed in April alone, by collating figures from several reports published by five national dailies, including The PUNCH, in the month.

However, the figure does not include persons killed in communal clashes, by armed robbers and cultists.

The killings, news reports showed, mainly took place in Kaduna, Benue, Zamfara, Borno, Nasarawa, Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra, Niger and Yobe states.

On April 1, 2021, five soldiers and two villagers were killed in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State while on the same day, bandits killed two persons, including Dayyabu Jaafar, a former Councillor in Ungwan Fada of Gaywam Ward, in the Birnin Gwari area of Kaduna State.
On April 3, 2021, the Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in Nasarawa State, Mohammed Hussaini; as well as the MACBAN chairman in the Toto Local Government Area, Mohammed Umar, were killed. Expectedly, their murder was condemned by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)

Not less than eight persons were, on April 6, killed in a church in Kasuwan Magani in the Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State while two policemen were shot dead at a checkpoint in the Takun Local Government Area of Taraba State.

About 10 soldiers were killed in the Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State on April 9 while six civilians were killed by Boko Haram during an attack on a United Nations hub in Mobbar, Borno State on April 10. The terrorists also killed seven in Kwapre, Hong Local Government Area, Adamawa the next day.

On April 14, about 10 persons were killed by Boko Haram in Damasak, Borno State while three were murdered at a burial in the Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

Approximately 60 persons were killed during coordinated simultaneous attacks in several Zamfara communities on April 21.

On April 23, three persons, including a monarch, Hyacinth Ason, were killed at Tse Zoola community in Benue while the next day, three students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, were murdered by bandits.

Perhaps, the deadliest attack was on April 26, wherein 40 persons were killed in Anambra, Imo, Kebbi and Rivers, a day described as ‘Black Monday.’ Two soldiers and three policemen were among the casualties.
On the same day, 11 Tiv farmers were killed in the Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State while seven others were slaughtered in the Abagana Internally Displaced Persons’ camp in Benue.

Two days after, 21 persons were murdered in Ebonyi, Enugu, Benue and Katsina. About 19 herders were also killed in Anambra on April 24.

The police had on October 22, 2020, ordered the immediate withdrawal of policemen from VIPs except senior elected officials and government functionaries due to the low number of police personnel.

However, checks by Saturday PUNCH showed that the order was only obeyed partially and for a short while.

In an interview with Saturday PUNCH, the Programmes Manager, Amnesty International Nigeria, Mr Seun Bakare, said the number of policemen available for policing duty was inadequate.

Bakare added that the government had an obligation to protect its population and “the rising death toll in all parts of Nigeria shows just how badly the authorities are failing in this responsibility.”

He added, “There is no doubt that rising insecurity across the country has left thousands dead and many more at the risk of further human rights abuses and violations.




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