279 attacks: Criminals prey on government institutions

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279 attacks: Criminals prey on government institutions


The August 24, 2021 attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna by ‘bandits’ has been described as the latest in a series of high-profile, targeted armed attacks on government institutions in 2021, and so far, 279 of such attacks have been captured by Towntalk, a data-intelligence company.

A document shared with BusinessDay shows that according to Area!, an incident sharing app by Towntalk, a total of 279 verified attacks on government institutions were recorded between January 1 and July 31, 2021.

Disaggregated by regions, the Northeast and Southeast reported 46.9 percent and 21.5 percent of the incidents, respectively. The South-south reported 12.5 percent of verified incidents and 7.9 percent of attacks on government institutions occurred in the Northwest.

The document further indicates that Area! by Towntalk used intelligent technology to detect any incident that involved an attack on government security forces, assets or workers as an attack against government institutions.

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These attacks, as the report highlights, have resulted in loss of life, destruction of property and kidnapping of government officials. These incidents, which are said to be corroborated by verified individuals in the location and eventually by government press officials, saw a total of 37 individuals kidnapped in 24 separate attacks on government institutions across the country from January 1 to July 31, 2021. These attacks, it says are likely to further strain the capacity of government security forces to combat the myriad of security challenges across the country.

North-East

According to the report, the number of monthly recorded incidents in the Northeast have trended downwards since January. However, the case counts have remained high and steady since February; coinciding with the replacement of the service chiefs of the armed forces. Despite the fall in case counts, the ongoing attacks on government institutions are indicative of capacity by non-state armed actors.

South-East

It was also stated that the Southeast has recorded 60 verified attacks on government institutions in 2021 – the second-highest among the six geopolitical zones. 46 reported incidents were attributed to the Eastern Security Network; a militia arm of the separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Attacks in the Southeast have been characterised by coordinated assaults, particularly in Imo and Anambra States which recorded a total of 36 attacks on government institutions, according to the report.

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This post was written by Caleb Ojewale and was first published at businessday.ng

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