Nigeria for the fourth consecutive year retained its third position in the list of countries worst hit globally by insurgency, the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2018 report disclosed yesterday. Coming behind Iraq and Afghanistan that have been first and second since 2014 and 2013, Nigeria was only placed fourth four years ago while Syria and Pakistan currently occupy fourth and fifth positions.
Disturbingly, the sixth yearly document of the Institute for Economics & Peace, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank with offices in Sydney, New York and Mexico City, raised the alarm over the continued killings by herdsmen, noting that terrorism was shifting from the North East to the Middle Belt.
The survey said in 2018 alone, deaths from herders were six times higher than those of Boko Haram. The GTI monitors and measures the impacts of terrorism in 163 countries, approximately 99.7 per cent of the world population. It also takes into cognisance the total of terrorist attacks, fatalities as well as injuries and the accompanying damaged properties in a given year to arrive at its rankings.
The index stated that of the 20 most fatal terrorist incidents in recent times, two occurred in Nigeria. One was on March 20, 2017 when assailants identified as “Fulani extremists” opened fire on a market in Zaki Ibiam, Benue State, killing 73 people in the process.
The second took place on July 25 of same year when Boko Haram terrorists attacked an exploration services firm convoy at Jibi that eventually resulted in the death of 60 persons.
However, the report noted that there has been a reduction in the number of casualties from terrorism in the country in 2017 and the three years before. According to it, terrorist deaths fell to 1,532 in 2017, a decrease of 16 per cent from the previous year.
Also, there were 63 per cent and 34 per cent drops in casualties nationwide in 2016 and 2015.Analysing global trends in terrorism in 2017, GTI described the reduction in fatalities in Nigeria and Iraq “the most dramatic.”
In a similar vein, the Tiv Supreme Council otherwise referred to as Ijirtamen; has warned politicians of the ethnic stock against making inflammatory statements over the barbaric killings of its people by nomads to avoid worsening the security situation in the land.
The body, in a communiqué yesterday after its emergency meeting, described the development as a disservice to the Tiv nation. The document, signed by five first class chiefs of the intermediate areas of the ethnic nationality and secretary of the Tiv Area Traditional Council, urged political actors from Benue State to check the herdsmen from further unleashing havoc on the people.