Increase in Ethno-Religious Tensions

There were two ethno-religious killings reported over the last two days. The first occurred on Sunday night when a Pastor in Kaduna state was riding his bicycle home from church. He was ambushed and shot to death.

The second incident occurred on Monday in Zamfara state after a university student was accused of committing blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad. The student got into an altercation with a Muslim student who then accused the university student of blasphemy causing a mob attack against him. The mob tracked the student to a house and set the house ablaze killing seven other persons in the building.

Analyst Comments: Both of these incidents highlight the continued religious intolerance exhibited by some individuals in Northern states. The police and the state government seldom find, prosecute or punish the perpetrators of these crimes. It is highly recommended that individuals travelling to Northern states undergo and gain understanding of cultural differences and adherence.

 

Domestic Staff Related Crime

In Lagos state, a 50-year-old woman was found dead in her house in VGC. The woman’s phones, money and jewellery were also stolen. Lagos state police investigators, suspect her newly hired Niger Republic security guard who is currently at large.

Analyst Comments: Such fatal robbery incidents perpetrated by domestic staff are not a rare occurrence in Lagos. The use of thoroughly vetted and trained guards sourced from professional security companies, is one of the best ways of preventing such incidents.

 

Pipeline Protection Remains A Major Challenge in Nigeria

Nigeria reported 1,600 cases of pipeline vandalism from the last eight months alone, compared with 3,000 vandalism cases reported from 2010-2015. The impacts of these attacks have reflected in the government’s inability to fund the 2016 budget.

According to the Minister of Petroleum, 643 million litres of petroleum products amounting to N51.28 billion was lost in 2015, while between January and June a loss of 109 million litres of petroleum products and 560,000 barrels of crude had been recorded. He said that about 850 million standard cubic feet of gas production had been lost from crises and power outage exposure of 2,700MW to 3,000MW.

Analyst Comments: This report highlights the government’s total inability to protect critical national infrastructure. In 2015, NNPC stated that it was planning to utilize drones to carryout pipeline surveillance across the nation. However, this report shows that such measures have not been put in place. Nigeria will continue experiencing pipeline vandalism as long as they continue utilizing the same protection measures which hinges primarily on the use of Nigerian Navy personnel, and local community contractors, many of whom are involved in the sabotage.

 

Nigerian Navy Arrests Militants Who Killed Soldiers and Stole Gunboat in Bayelsa

On August 8, 2016 Niger Delta Militants disguised as burial parties, attacked and killed four soldiers stationed at a military checkpoint at the entrance of Nembe community, in Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa and absconding with the troops’ gunboats and ammunition.

Arrest 1

 

The Nigerian military parades weapons and some suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers after their arrest in the Nembe waters, Rivers, Nigeria, August 22, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

 

On the 22nd August, Nigerian Navy said it had arrested 3 individuals who were responsible for that attack, and labeling them “members of Niger Delta Avengers”. DHQ statement read: “Troops at about 1400 hours (2pm) located and engaged these criminals in a shootout in which some of them were believed to have been killed, 3 suspects arrested and large quantities of arms, ammunition and the gunboat that was taken from Nembe”.
Arrest 2

 

Analyst Comments: This situation indicates that despite the ceasefire agreement, the Nigerian military will still carry on with tactical operations in the region to neutralize threats and criminals in the area.

 

Boko Haram

There were two Boko Haram attacks reported over the weekend. The first occurred on Saturday in Borno state where eight insurgents raided Kuburubu village around 5am riding four motorcycles, killing 6 individuals and kidnapping 13 others. The other attack occurred in Northern Cameroon on Sunday, where a male suicide bomber detonated himself on a bridge near Mora market, killing three civilians and injuring 20 others.

Analyst Comments: These Boko Haram attacks are not as frequent as in past times, however, they are still being consistently mounted showing that the group is still very much active in the region. Since self-appointed Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau resurfaced to defend his position and prove he still wields an “army” of fighters, we can expect to see more attacks being mounted as part of his strategy to attest to both the Nigerian government and ISIS leadership that he still active and in the area.

 

Nigerian Air Force Say Their Air Strikes Have “Fatally Wounded” Shekau- Yet Again!

The Nigerian Air Force carried out air strikes against a Boko Haram base in Sambisa Forest on Friday 19th August 2016, killing several top commanders and “fatally wounding” Shekau. The Nigerian military has claimed that it has killed the Boko Haram commander several times therefore this announcement is being met with cautious optimism.

Analyst Comments: In past situations after the military makes such pronouncements, Shekau releases a message refuting the military claims. In this regard, the only other way to confirm or deny these claims by the military is to wait and see if the ‘fatally wounded” commander tells us his version of the story.