Nigeria Loses 965 Soldiers, Policemen To Boko Haram, IPOB In 2 Years

0
5

At least 965 soldiers and policemen have died in the line of duty as a result of the escalation of violence in many parts of Nigeria, perpetrated by Boko Haram, bandits, activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other non-state actors in the last two years.

Daily Trust Saturday tracked the various violent incidents related to killings of police and military personnel between January 2021 and April 2023 in which findings revealed that Nigeria’s security officials bore a significant brunt of killings by non-state actors.

The data metrics, which were exclusively gathered from reported incidents in newspapers, showed that 581 policemen and 384 military personnel died in the line of duty within the period under review.

Retired senior officers, however, said the incidents, though unfortunate, would not affect the morale of security forces, who are spread all over the country to maintain law and order.

Meet Nigerian entertainers who recently received national honours
Kaduna: High-cost, litigation bar traders from Kasuwar Barci
Daily Trust Saturday could not get official records from the Nigerian Army and police headquarters as efforts to reach the army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, did not yield results after they both failed to respond to calls and text messages.

However, records revealed that the NPF has approximately 371,800 officers across the country, with a ratio of one police officer to 540 citizens. This is lower than the United Nation’s recommended rate of one police officer to 450 people.

For the military, World Bank database revealed that as at 2019, Nigeria had a military strength of 223,000 personnel. This figure, despite a significant loss of at least 384 personnel, was corroborated in February, 2023 by Nigeria’s minister of defence, Bashir Magashi, during the 25th edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s scorecard series to showcase his administration’s achievements.

A breakdown of the data mined by this newspaper showed that out of the 384 military personnel killed, 192 were killed by Boko Haram and other terrorists, 68 by gunmen and the IPOB, 62 by bandits and 62 by other criminal groups and circumstances.

Newspaper reports showed that from the 581 police officers killed, 344 were killed by gunmen and the IPOB, 119 were killed by bandits and kidnappers, while 53 by armed robbers and other criminal groups. The data also showed that 32 police officer died in accidents while 18 were killed by colleagues and other security personnel and 15 by Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP).

Regions, states with high military, police killings

Data from media reports collated by this newspaper revealed that men of the Nigerian military recorded heavier casualties in the North, especially North East and North West, where activities of Boko Haram and bandits are more prevalent. The police, on the other hand, suffered heavier casualties in the southern part of the country, especially the South East and South-South, where activities of IPOB and gunmen, a term loosely used to refer to attacks by suspected members of the Eastern Security Network, the armed group of IPOB are more prevalent.

The data revealed that out of the 384 military officers killed in the last 28 months, 82.6 per cent of the killings came from the North while the remaining 17.4 per cent came from the South.

On a region-by-region analysis, the North East claimed 178 soldiers, the North West, 90 and North Central, 49. The South East claimed 41 military deaths while the South-South had 24 and South West two.

The top five states with the highest military losses include Borno State, where 152 soldiers were killed in the last two years, followed by Kaduna State, where the military lost 35 soldiers, and Kebbi, where 23 soldiers were killed in the line of duty. In Niger State, 28 soldiers were killed, while 20 were killed in Anambra State. The five states combined make 67 per cent of military killings in the country.

The data from police killings revealed that out of 581 police lives lost in the last two years, 60 per cent came from the South while the North has 40 per cent. The data also showed that 305 of police killings were as a result of ambush by gunmen, with the South East and South-South recording 73.7 per cent.

On a region-by-region analysis, the NPF lost 200 officers in the South East, 110 in the North West, 106 in the South-South and 85 men in the North Central. The police also lost 43 officers in the South West and 37 in the North East.

The five states with the highest police killings are Anambra, where 63 police officers lost their lives, followed by Imo, where 52 officers were killed, as well as Niger State, where 42 police officers were killed.

Others are Delta State, where 37 were killed and Ebonyi, where 35 police officers lost their lives. The five states make 39.5 per cent of police killings in the country.

Speaking on the number of casualties recorded by the military, Major Muhammad Bashir Galma (retd) said such things were expected in Nigeria’s ongoing security challenges. He, however, said every military officer killed in that cause was a loss to Nigeria. Major Galma described the number of military personnel killed in the line of duty as alarming, but said that as far as the operational mode was concerned, the military are known for recording such high casualties, therefore, the losses would not affect troops’ morale.

On his part, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Wilson Inalegwu, said ambushes on the NPF, especially in the South East would not affect the morale of the police as those who joined any law enforcement agency are aware that they cannot determine what happens to them.

Inalagwu, who linked the country’s increasing crime rates to unemployment, poverty and illiteracy, among others, said the government must address all the root causes of crimes.

“I think the root causes of crimes must be addressed to stop these attacks and killings of police officers. The police community relations must be improved to make communities see the police as part of them in order to feed them with sensitive information.

“Also, a lot of training and professionalism needs to be put in the system to help the police survive these ambushes,” he added.

He said the police had tried to be professional and respond to distress calls, even when danger lurks. “But because of their passion to serve, they have found themselves ambushed and killed.

“What will affect their morale is what will happen to their families after they get killed. What are the death gratuities? Are they going to be evicted from the barracks? These are the things that will affect the morale of police officers, not the killings,” Inalegwu said.

Military and police officers on the field have confided in Daily Trust Saturday that good battalion leaders, better equipment and motivation could reduce the casualties suffered by both the military and police officers stationed in areas plagued by insecurity.

A junior military officer who has worked in the North East and North West said ambush attacks on troops sometimes weaken their morale. “We are soldiers, so we get used to it. We have been compelled by circumstances to let it go and build the courage to move on.

“In most of these ambushes, the enemy has a 99 per cent chance of victory because whoever plans an ambush is prepared. What we try to do is remain at alert all the time in order to survive,” he said.

He said that with good battalion leaders who would not compromise, their chances of safety would be higher.

A police officer currently serving in the South East, however, said that with the right motivation and better equipment, officers would have greater chances of survival.

“If anyone tells you that it doesn’t bother us that we are being targeted and killed, then the person is not being sincere. We are the foot soldiers, we are the ones sent to these volatile areas to maintain peace,” he said.

He said that with the right motivation in salaries and training, as well as modern equipment, the police would have better chances of forestalling attacks. activities of IPOB and gunmen, a term loosely used to refer to attacks by suspected members of the Eastern Security Network, the armed group of IPOB are more prevalent.

The data revealed that out of the 384 military officers killed in the last 28 months, 82.6 per cent of the killings came from the North while the remaining 17.4 per cent came from the South.

On a region-by-region analysis, the North East claimed 178 soldiers, the North West, 90 and North Central, 49. The South East claimed 41 military deaths while the South-South had 24 and South West two.

The top five states with the highest military losses include Borno State, where 152 soldiers were killed in the last two years, followed by Kaduna State, where the military lost 35 soldiers, and Kebbi, where 23 soldiers were killed in the line of duty. In Niger State, 28 soldiers were killed, while 20 were killed in Anambra State. The five states combined make 67 per cent of military killings in the country.

The data from police killings revealed that out of 581 police lives lost in the last two years, 60 per cent came from the South while the North has 40 per cent. The data also showed that 305 of police killings were as a result of ambush by gunmen, with the South East and South-South recording 73.7 per cent.

On a region-by-region analysis, the NPF lost 200 officers in the South East, 110 in the North West, 106 in the South-South and 85 men in the North Central. The police also lost 43 officers in the South West and 37 in the North East.

The five states with the highest police killings are Anambra, where 63 police officers lost their lives, followed by Imo, where 52 officers were killed, as well as Niger State, where 42 police officers were killed.

Others are Delta State, where 37 were killed and Ebonyi, where 35 police officers lost their lives. The five states make 39.5 per cent of police killings in the country.

Nigerians can now earn US Dollars by acquiring premium domain names, most clients earn about $7,000 to $10,000, all paid in US Dollars. Click here to learn how to start.

DAILY TRUST

LEAVE A REPLY