- Nigeria worse than Syria, Pakistan, Somalia
The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2019 has released a bombshell on the Nigerian security situation, noting that herdsmen attacks cost the country more lives than Boko Haram in 2018.
GTI published the report on Wednesday also for the fifth consecutive year ranked Nigeria the third country in the world with terrible cases of terror attacks, trailing Afghanistan and Iran that are first and second respectively.
Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, and India are ranked fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh respectively in the GTI report, while Yemen, Philippines, and Democratic Republic of the Congo are eighth, ninth, and 10th.
The report indicated that terror-related incidents in Nigeria increased by 37%, from 411 in 2017 to 562 in 2018 and also deaths from terrorism in the country rose to 2,040 in 2018, a 33%increase.
“The increase was due to a substantial escalation of violence by ‘Fulani’ extremists, whilst Boko Haram recorded a decline in deaths from terrorism,” the report said.
Dispute over ownership and usage of land has remained the major cause of the violence conflict between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria.
The report raised a major concern on the shift of terrorism from the far north east to the Middle Belt of Nigeria due to the increased killings by the herders of farmers in this new region of blood.
The worst of the 2018 terrorism incidents, according to the GTI report occurred in the Gwaska village of Kaduna State on May 5, an assault still attributed to the Fulani herders. The death toll of this incident was 58.
“Violence between Nigerian herders and farmers intensified in early 2018 with approximately 300,000 people fleeing their homes. The most recent escalation in violence follows increased militia attacks and implementation of new anti-grazing legislation,” the latest report said.
“In 2018, Fulani extremists were responsible for the majority of terror-related deaths in Nigeria at 1,158 fatalities. Terror-related deaths and incidents attributed to Fulani extremists increased by 261 and 308 per cent respectively from the prior year. Of 297 attacks by Fulani extremists, over 200 were armed assaults. Over 84 per cent of these armed assaults targeted civilians.
“However, also active and not recorded as terrorist activity are pastoralist militias who target the Fulani, increasing the likelihood of reprisals,” the report said.
The GTI report attributed the decline in Boko Haram attacks to a multinational task force fighting the terrorist group.
The GTI, which is in its seventh edition, is produced annually by the Institute for Economics & Peace, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank with offices in Sydney, New York, and Mexico City.