Written by Emmanuel Ogbeche

Boko Haram: 36, 942 killed in 10yrs · Catholics to wear black, Wednesday, over insecurity

As insecurity persists in Nigeria with the dread terrorist organization, Boko Haram, stepping up attacks in Bornu, Adamawa and Yobe states, an estimated 36, 942 people have lost their lives in the past 10 years to the crisis.






In the weekly Nigeria Security Tracker, NST, of the Council on Foreign Relations' Africa program, state actors and non-state actors like Boko Haram are responsible for the grave statistics.

According to the NST, 2014 and 2015 remain the deadliest years as there witnessed between 2, 500 to over 3, 000 deaths.

A further breakdown showed that Boko Haram and state actor together are responsible for over 18, 000 deaths, while Boko Haram alone accounts for 16, 000 deaths.

The NST was created in 2011 after a deadly confrontation between the terrorist sect and personnel of the Nigerian military in 2009.

In its tracker covering February 8 to 14, over 118 deaths were recorded. The breakdown shows that on: February 8: Bandits killed three in Shiroro, Niger; February 8: The Nigerian Air Force killed "several" (estimated at ten) Boko Haram militants in Gwoza, Borno; February 8: Gunmen killed two in Dutse, Kaduna.

February 9: Herdsmen killed three in Riyom, Plateau; February 9: Boko Haram killed thirty and abducted "many" (estimated at ten) in Konduga, Borno; February 9: Nigerian troops killed "several" (estimated at ten) Boko Haram militants in Damboa, Borno and on February 10: Two soldiers and one Boko Haram militant were killed in a clash in Konduga, Borno.

Also, February 10: Boko Haram killed one soldier in Magumeri, Borno; February 10: Three CJTF and "several" (estimated at five) Boko Haram militants were killed in a clash in Kala/Balge, Borno; February 11: Gunmen killed twenty-one in Giwa, Kaduna; February 12: Gunmen killed seven in Kachia, Kaduna; February 13: Herdsmen killed eight in Ughelli North, Delta; February 13: Four people were killed during a riot in Orhionmwon, Edo; February 14: Herdsmen killed one in Bokkos, Plateau; and February 14: Bandits killed thirty-three in Batsari, Katsina.

The Nigerian government has come under attack for releasing 1,400 'repentant Boko Haram suspects.'

According to The Cable, soldiers on the frontlines said they do not understand why suspected Boko Haram members are being released in large numbers.

“A lot of soldiers are not happy about this. We were there at the Maimalari barracks when some of these Boko Haram people were released,” one of the soldiers who doesn't want his name mentioned said. “The authorities are releasing them, but Boko Haram are killing soldiers that they capture. This does not make sense to us at all. We continue to sweep across the bushes to flush these people out, and then the government will release them. Does that not amount to wasted efforts?”

In a related development, Catholics across Nigeria will don black attires on Ash Wednesday, this week, as a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims of kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country.

A statement of the Catholics Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, said the church is aware of its moral responsibility. It called on the government to live up to its responsibility of protecting Nigerians.

“As a mark of mourning for all our brothers and sisters who have been victims of the most recent wave of violence against Christians, we are all dressed in black today and offer our prayers and penance for their repose,” the statement by Augustine Akubeze and Camillus Umoh, president and secretary of CBCN, respectively.

“We invite the universal church and all Christians to join us in prayers for our dead brothers and sisters and for peace and security in Nigeria,” the statement continued.

“We equally appeal to the international community to come to the aid of the Nigerian government in the fight against these daredevil terrorists, who want to destabilise our country.

“The consequences, should they succeed, will be grave not only for the West African sub-region but also for Africa as a whole.”









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