11,794 Nigerians killed in lethal violence in 2023, Borno worst hit – Report

lethal violence

A new report by the Nigeria Watch has revealed that 11,794 Nigerians were killed in various violence across the country in 2023.

Nigeria Watch is a database that monitors lethal violence, conflicts, and human security in Nigeria. Its data is based on a thorough analysis of 10 national daily newspapers completed by reports from human rights organisations and the police whenever they are available.

The number of deaths represents a fall from the previous year which stood at 15,493 deaths.

According to the report, rural banditry and kidnapping remained prevalent in many states, saying in 2023, Borno State recorded the highest number of fatalities (2,123), followed by Benue (872), Niger (731), Plateau (708), Kaduna (672) and Zamfara (573) while Ekiti, Jigawa (36), Bayelsa (51), Gombe (55) and Adamawa (85) reported the lowest numbers.

The report reveals that Borno was also the most dangerous state in 2023, registering 29.03 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, primarily due to the Boko Haram conflict.

It said criminal incidents claimed 5,356 lives in 2023, especially Niger, Kaduna, Zamfara, Benue and Plateau.

The North Central and North West geopolitical zones reported the highest number of deaths. The toll resulting from clashes involving farmers and herdsmen in Nigeria surged to 860 in 2023, marking an increase from the 579 recorded in the previous year. Benue, Plateau and Taraba states were the most affected.

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“The 2023 general election was relatively peaceful compared to others, especially in 2011. But it claimed about 234 lives during the different phases of the process: 67 before the election, 153 during voting activities and result collation, and 14 during the contestation and celebration of declared results,” the report said.

The Nigeria Watch’s report added that various Boko Haram factions, including ISWAP, lost about 497 combatants and members because of internal fighting in 2023.

It said most clashes occurred in Marte, Kukawa, Bama, Nganzai, Konduga and Guzamala LGAs of Borno State.

“Reported road accident fatalities decreased from 1,860 in 2022 to 1,565 in 2023. The majority of these fatal crashes were attributed to traffic violations, overspeeding, poor vehicle maintenance and explosions related to the distribution of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS),” it said.

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