National News

1013 killed in Niger Delta in 2019 – Report

No fewer than 1013 people were killed in at least 416 conflicts and violent attacks in the Niger Delta in 2019, a report shows.

According to the Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) in its Niger Delta Annual Conflict Report, the deaths from such violence increased in 2019 to 416 and 1013 respectively as against what was obtainable in 2018. In 2018, there were 351 incidents and 546 deaths.

The report was released on Sunday. The group’s reports track the violence trends at the regional, state and local levels.

“These conflict risk factors included historical tensions and a proliferation of armed groups (militant, criminal, and ethno-sectarian).”

“Organized criminality, cult clashes, political tensions, land disputes and communal clashes were the primary causes of lethal violence during the period. Gang and political violence increased while communal violence decreased during the year,” the report states.

Cross Rivers, Delta, Edo and Rivers State top most notorious.

“The most reported incidents of violence related to criminality (including piracy, abductions, robberies, and killing for ritualistic purposes) which totalled 260 incidents resulted into 444 fatalities.”

There were also cultists supremacy clashes with 272 fatalities in 78 reported incidents.

“Gang violence was reported in all the states in the region, but it was more prevalent in Rivers, Edo, and Delta. Ethnic tensions were the third highest conflict issue in the region during the year, resulting in 197 fatalities in 77 reported incidents.”

The report also shows the local governments in six states that were the most violent in the year 2019.

“The most violent local government areas (LGAs) in 2019 were Khana (Rivers), Oredo (Edo), Obio/Akpor (Rivers), Yenagoa (Bayelsa), Odukpani (Cross River), Mbo (Akwa Ibom), Emohua (Rivers) Ethiope East (Delta), Port Harcourt (Rivers), and Oyigbo (Rivers), respectively.”

April 2019 was the most deadly month with a total of 150 reported fatalities.

“Separately in April, 10 people were reportedly killed during a clash over a land dispute between some communities in Obubra Local Government Area, Cross River state and a neighboring community in Ikwo Local Government Area, Ebonyi state.” (NAN)

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