In President Bola Tinubu’s first month in office, a minimum of 237 individuals lost their lives in various attacks that occurred throughout the country. The Peoples Gazette’s compilation of reported incidents involving Boko Haram, bandits, and gunmen within the past 30 days since Mr. Tinubu assumed the presidency confirms this grim reality. Shockingly, an average of eight people per day fell victim to violence under the watch of Nigeria’s new commander-in-chief, who had taken an oath to safeguard the lives and properties of the nation’s citizens.
The commencement of Mr. Tinubu’s tenure was marred by a series of killings that claimed the lives of at least 80 people across Benue, Zamfara, and Sokoto. Shortly thereafter, Amnesty International expressed concern over the escalating killings nationwide, estimating the death toll to be around 120. Nevertheless, Mr. Tinubu’s political party, the All Progressives Congress, dismissed Amnesty International’s outcry as “hypocritical,” urging the human rights organization to give the new government some leeway.
As Boko Haram, bandits, and gunmen intensified their nefarious activities across the country, the reported cases of killings surged by 117 as of June 29, resulting in a total death toll of 237. Within this period, separate attacks in various communities claimed the lives of 45 individuals in Niger and Plateau on June 10 and 13, while another 33 people were killed in separate incidents in Borno and Plateau between June 16 and 18. In Kaduna on June 18, five people, including a local chief, met their tragic end.
Plateau communities witnessed the loss of 20 lives on June 21 and 22. On June 23, Boko Haram terrorists killed eight farmers in Borno, and three miners were killed in Plateau State. On the same day, three farmers were also killed in Kaduna. Throughout this review period, the Nigerian military claimed to have thwarted some attacks, rescued kidnapped citizens, and eliminated Boko Haram insurgents and bandits in Borno, Kaduna, and Zamfara.
Despite promising to address the deteriorating insecurity and reform Nigeria’s security doctrine and architecture in his inaugural speech on May 29, Mr. Tinubu has maintained complete silence regarding the numerous killings that have occurred under his leadership. While he swiftly mourned the victims of India’s catastrophic train crash just 24 hours after the incident, he hasn’t uttered a word about his unfortunate compatriots who fell prey to Boko Haram and bandits.
His media aide, Dele Alake, did not respond to requests for comments from The Gazette regarding Mr. Tinubu’s failure to publicly sympathize with distressed Nigerians, despite sending condolences to India. Disregarding the killings that have occurred under Mr. Tinubu’s government, Mr. Alake previously claimed that Nigerians were experiencing a “new lease of life” when questioned about the new leader’s performance in his first two weeks in office during an interview on NTA, a state-owned TV station.
The ongoing deadly violence continues to draw criticism from Nigerians, with Governor Caleb Mutfwang describing the killings in Plateau as “pure genocide.” Amnesty International’s acting director in Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, expressed sorrow over the surge in killings and chastised the government for failing to fulfill its primary duty of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians. He emphasized the urgent need for the Nigerian authorities to take decisive action to halt the bloodshed, stating that the brazen failure to protect the people of Nigeria is becoming alarmingly common. He further criticized the authorities for their failure to conduct independent, effective, impartial, and thorough investigations into these killings, which only perpetuates impunity.