The Islamic State West Africa Province has carried out no fewer than 1,480 attacks in the country between July 2009 and August 2022.
Also, about 15,111 victims have died and over 3.2 million Nigerians displaced as a result of the attacks.
These were contained in the Agora Policy report, titled, ‘Understanding and tackling insecurity in Nigeria.’
The report read, “According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, between July 2009 and August 2022, BH/ISWAP carried out 1,480 attacks, resulting in the estimated deaths of 15,111 people and the displacement of over 3.2 million Nigerians (UNHCR Africa).
“At the peak of their activities, BH/ISWAP controlled 26 local government areas in three states in the Northeast: fourteen, seven, and five local government areas in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states, respectively.
“They later extended their activities to parts of Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Niger, and Sokoto states as well as the FCT where they attacked government installations, worship centres, recreation areas, motor parks and other densely populated areas. “
According to the report, the objective of BH/ISWAP was to topple the current system and establish their own territories governed according to their strict interpretation of Islamic laws.
The report also warned that the pace at which the terrorist group was establishing cells at various locations portends danger to the security architecture of the country.
“The rapid spread of ISWAP cells, if untamed, could give the Islamic State an opportunity to turn Nigeria into the new Syria”, the report stated.
It further said that an estimated 7,500 lives were lost between 2018 and 2021 to bandit attacks while about one million persons had been displaced.
“The effect of banditry is extensive. In addition to complicating the general insecurity in the country, it has exacerbated forced migration and displacement, food insecurity, cattle rustling, destruction of property, health challenges, humanitarian crises, and death.
“Between 2018 and 2021, an estimated 7,500 lives were lost to the banditry crisis, while nearly one million became internally displaced persons from 798 communities in the affected states. A total of 50,0004 Nigerians were reportedly taking refuge in the Niger Republic at the peak of the conflict “, the report added.
The document also lamented the oil theft in the Niger Delta region, adding that the scourge is affecting the economy of the country.
Citing a finding by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the report noted that about $42bn was lost to oil theft and sabotage in 10 years.
The report stated that the ineffective criminal justice system was the main driver of insecurity in the country.
An efficient criminal justice administration, it added, is key to curbing crimes in the society and ensuring long-term solutions to the security challenges.
“Unfortunately, however, there are existing inadequacies and human indiscretions that make the system unable to fully rise to the challenge. Corruption in the law enforcement and justice sector aids escape of criminals from the law, which emboldens and imbues them with a sense of impunity and makes the wronged persons take the laws into their own hands for vengeance.
“Extortion and torture in the hands of security agents have been cited by many high-profile criminals as a reason for their indulgence in criminal activities or their extreme show of sadism,” the report further noted.
It added, “There is also insufficient capacity and lack of deliberate effort to take apprehended high-profile criminals through the justice dispensation process. For example, the trial of Boko Haram suspects in Kainji, Niger State, which began in 2017, drew a lot of criticism for lacking sufficient transparency and rigour, and for the fact it had yet to cover a lot of suspects, relative to the number of persons in custody.”