No fewer than 214 locals were killed and 746 kidnapped within three months [January and March] in Kaduna State.
Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, in Annual Security Report for 2023, said the deceased locals comprised of 14 females, 196 males, and four minors across three senatorial districts in the state.
The report, according to Daily Trust, indicates that 89 bandits were also killed during engagements with ground forces, military, and police across the state within the period. It said five bandits also died due to fratricidal clashes within themselves, bringing the number of bandits’ deaths to 94 and scores killed in air strikes.
Banditry: How Reprisal Attack by Niger Vigilantes Led to Death of 9 Captives
Kaduna Central Senatorial District recorded 115 deaths with 108 of them occurring in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi, Chikun, and Kajuru LGAs. Giwa and Birnin Gwari LGAs each recorded 32 deaths, Chikun LGA 25, Igabi 13, and Kajuru six deaths within the first quarter.
Kaduna South Senatorial District recorded 61 deaths, but most were due to reprisal and communal clashes in Zangon Kataf with 19 deaths and 12 killed in Sanga LGA.
Kaduna North District recorded 38 deaths, with 22 occurring in Zaria LGA.
KIDNAPPED VICTIMS PER SENATORIAL DISTRICT
Among the 746 people kidnapped in the first quarter, Kaduna Central Senatorial District accounted for 492 (about 66% of the total). All of these occurred in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi, Chikun and Kajuru LGAs.
One hundred and thirty-seven people were kidnapped from Birnin Gwari LGA, 131 from Igabi LGA as Giwa LGA recorded 100 kidnapped cases while Chikun LGA and Kajuru LGA, respectively recorded 81 and 41.
Southern Kaduna Senatorial District recorded 221 kidnapped persons, with Kachia LGA reporting the highest number of 95. Sixty-three people were kidnapped in Kagarko LGA, and 46 from Kauru LGA.
The Northern Senatorial District recorded 33 kidnapped persons with 17 of these from Lere LGA.
252 WOMEN, 42 MINORS KIDNAPPED IN THREE MONTHS
In total, 254 women and 42 minors were kidnapped in the first quarter across the state. The report stated that in the 4th quarter of 2022, 246 victims were killed due to deaths linked to banditry and other crimes in the state.
This is a reduction in the number of people kidnapped compared to the figure presented in the 4th quarter report of 2022 where 1,049 were kidnapped. A total of 116 citizens (all adults, with only six women) were injured across the state due to banditry and terrorism, among others. In the 4th quarter of 2022, 140 were injured.
According to the 2022 security report, 280 bandits were killed during engagements with security agencies in the state.
In the 2023 annual report, 3,247 animals were rustled within the period, with 2,353 stolen from Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
According to the report, 12 rape cases were reported within the period, with two females and 10 minors affected, with only five rape cases reported in the 4th quarter of the 2022 security report.
Aruwan also explained that within the period under review in 2023, gun runners were intercepted and arrested with quantities of arms and ammunition.
‘INTENSIFY MILITARY OPERATIONS’ — EL-RUFAI
Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna State Governor, has appealed to the federal government to intensify security operations across North West.
The governor noted that the military initiated offensive security operations against bandits in the last half of 2022, which helped to improve the security situation in many communities.
He emphasised that the operations must be widened and sustained as the most effective way to protect the people and uphold law and order.
The governor appealed for an escalation of security operations beyond May 29 so that the change of baton at the federal level would not create a vacuum that criminals could exploit.
He called for simultaneous ground and air kinetic actions across the seven frontline states of the North West region and Niger, which have continuous and contiguous forest ranges and are most heavily impacted by the security challenge.