In many places across the country, 2019 began on a deadly note, with killings sprees executed by unidentified gunmen, bandits, and others. Checks show that a total of 57 reported deaths have been recorded this year so far, across a number of states in a number of different circumstances. Here, we take a look at some.
Late last year, Zamfara State witnessed a bloodbath where large numbers of people were mauled by bandits. These unfortunate incidences were taken into 2019 with about 18 persons reportedly killed on New Year’s day when armed bandits invaded two communities in the state.
Sources explained that the gunmen stormed Dutsinkure and Manasa in Tsafe LGA, killing people and destroying property. Nine persons were killed in Dutsinkure, while another nine were killed in Manasa.
Incidentally, the attackers ransacked the towns just three days after Governor Abdulaziz Yari held a security meeting with security and traditional chiefs after a similar bloodbath a few days earlier.
The attackers destroyed large storages of farm produce villagers had kept hidden after the last attacks.
In Benue State, the Commissioner of Police, Omololu Bishi, said six people have been killed in the state since the beginning of the year. Of the number, the commissioner explained, three were killed in cult-related activities while the remaining three were allegedly killed in a family fracas in Otukpo.
Bishi said though, the Otukpo suspected killer was yet to be brought to the command headquarters in Makurdi, reports available to him showed that the victims died following the threats earlier handed them by the suspect based on their disagreement.
There was pandemonium at the popular Garrision roundabout in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, when daredevil armed robbers shot and killed a Mobile Police Officer on escort duty.
A witness said the gunmen had trailed the company vehicle the policeman was escorting from a bank where they had gone to withdrew an undisclosed amount of money.
The witness said the armed robbers made straight to the vehicle’s boot and took away the money.
Less than two weeks into the new year, gunmen killed three persons at Gwong Chiefdom of Jema’a LGA of Kaduna State. Chairman of the local government, Peter Danjuma Averik, said the gunmen opened fire on innocent persons who were walking along the Asso and Tanda Bridge.
The spokesperson, Kaduna State Police Command, DSP Yakubu Sabo, said the incident happened around 1:00am.
According to him, gunmen suspected to be armed robbers attacked passersby killing two of them while a third was rushed to the hospital.
In Ekiti State, an accounting officer with Emure LGA of Ekiti State, Mr Abayomi Ajayi was killed by gunmen while returning from work. The incident occurred at about 8pm along the Ikere-Ise Road.
It was gathered that two other members of staff of the council were also kidnapped during the incident. The spokesman of the state police command, Caleb Ikechukwu, said investigation had since commenced into the matter.
A tally follows: Four persons were killed in a cult-related attack in Benin on January 7, 26 killed by gunmen in Rabah Local Government Area of Sokoto State on January 13 just as three were shot in Gwong district of Jema’a of Kaduna State on January 13. Also, seven persons were shot along Usu-Owo highway of Ondo State, fifteen civilians and two soldiers were killed in Rann, Kala Balge Local Government of Borno State on January 14, a policeman was shot in a suspected robbery in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on January 14 while the Benue State police command said six persons have been killed in the state since the beginning of 2019.
Data: Haruna Ibrahim