Currently, large parts of the Middle Belt region in central Nigeria– a broad expanse of territory that roughly incorporates the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba, the Federal Capital Territory, as well as the southern parts of Borno, Gombe, Kebbi, Kaduna and Yobe – is experiencing an escalation of the conflict between herders and farmers that has left hundreds of citizens dead, including women and children, and the destruction of property.
On Saturday, 17 February, 2018, the AFP news service ran a report that separatist groups in Nigeria’s neighbour, the Republic of Cameroon, had declared war in their push for an independent country. This declaration, not by the official separatist group, is the result of growing frustration with what people in the region see as Yaounde’s attempts to wipe out their identity.
Hassana Abdullahu was three days old. She was killed at Shefaran village, Numan Local Government Area, Adamawa State on Tuesday, 21 November, 2017.
Shikaan Junior Kende was a year old. He was killed, alongside his father, Shikaan Senior, in Saghev, Guma Local Government Area, Benue State, on Tuesday, 2 January, 2018.
Hassana never knew that her ethnicity was Fulani. Shikaan Junior never knew that his ethnicity was Tiv. Neither had ever heard of Nigeria, but their parents had, and Nigeria failed all of them when they were murdered.
Nigeria’s states have raised ₦791.2 billion through the issuance of bonds over the last 40 years to carry out infrastructural development projects or service loans. According to SEC data, the now defunct Bendel State was the first to secure ₦20 million on behalf of the Bendel State Loan Stock in 1978 for housing estate development. Of the current states, Lagos leads the way with a total of ₦290.090 billion in bond issuances, the largest being a ₦87.5 billion government bond – Series 2 under the ₦167.5 billion debt issuance programme of 2013 for maturity in 2020.
Over the last few months, there has been a rise in attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist group in the North East. More worrying is that in some cases, these attacks have been successful, with Boko Haram overwhelming security forces and taking captives in the process. Many of these attacks are suicide attacks targeted at Maiduguri with the University of Maiduguri coming under a serious and concerted threat perhaps for the first time. This has led the authorities to dig a two metre trench around the school. This has led to a lot of talk about a resurgence of Boko Haram.
The Boko Haram insurgency entered its seventh year at the beginning of 2016, and a number of important factors have had a substantial effect on developments on this front. In May 2015, Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as President of Nigeria on an electoral platform that included taking a tougher stance on security issues. Before the elections, a troop surge belatedly approved by the Goodluck Jonathan administration led to marked improvements on the ground in Nigeria’s North East.
SBM Intelligence curated attacks and fatalities from those attacks in three categories of security challenges in 2016.
Boko Haram Insurgency
The pastoral conflict, involving cattle rustling and attacks by Fulani herdsmen
Niger Delta Oil Militancy The key findings were as follows:
Kaduna State is currently enmeshed in a humanitarian crisis. The southern part of the state has become the epicentre of deadly violence, most of it inflicted by herdsmen on farming communities. This is situated within two wider contexts:
Attacks by Fulani herdsmen on farming communities, and reprisals, particularly in the North Central region. Further into the past, the epicentre was Plateau State (mainly the Barkin Ladi area), then Nasarawa State, and finally Benue State.