Saturday 19 December 2015

Security Mapping: Guide To Threats, Crime And Terrorism Hotbeds In Nigeria (Part 2)

This project is aimed at mapping or collating salient risks, threats, safety concerns, crime, terrorism or violence extremism hotspots representative of Nigeria’s cities and 36 states of the country. Amonsgt other issues, I chronicled representative threats, violent crimes etc representative of Lagos state. Read part 1 of the essay here if you missed it. The current tranche is a continuation of the eralier essay. Part two of this research encompasses hreats, violent crimes characteristic of the outstanding 5 states in south west Nigeria (Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Lagos and Ondo) and the 5 states in south east Nigeria (Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.)

a.    Ogun State - Pipeline vandalization and its attendant fire, casualties recur within the Arepo area of Ogun State. In September 2015, pipeline vandals killed nine DSS (Department of State Security) operatives at Arepo. Prevalence of ritual killings (a 65-year old herbalist, Chief Dandola Owotomo was reportedly caught with a human tongue, an arm and a woman’s private part in Ijebu-Igbo area of Ogun state. A report in 2015 says Ogun state records 15 rape cases weekly. A Nigerian human rights lawyer, Evans Ufeli, opined that notwithstanding overwhelming reported cases of sexual assaults, Nigeria has recorded only 18 rape convictions in its legal history

b.  Ekiti State During a kidnapping spree in Ekiti state, 3 women were abducted simultaneously in the state. In addition to kidnapping, ritual killings is also said to abound in some parts of Ekiti state. One Mrs. Bose Edijana Nnaefenwa, a mother of four was allegedly beheaded at Aramoko area of Ekiti State in July 2012. Information available in the public domain suggests that rapists are on the loose in Ekiti state. Mr. Alberto Adeyemi, police public relations officer in the state averred that from January to October 2015, 29 rape cases and defilement of under-aged were recorded in Ekiti state. Interestingly, he added that though the culprits have been charged to court, yet none of them have been sentenced. Boko Haram allegedly masterminded a prison break in Ekiti in December 2014.

c.     Ondo State: The spate of ritual killings in Ondo state calls for concern. Men of the Nigeria Police allegedly discovered a ritual den in Ondo state and arrested five persons in connection with the crime. In 2014, the severed body with vital missing organs of a lady identified as Deborah Fakeye was found wrapped in a bag somewhere around Ayedun. The Nigeria Police also uncovered a ritualist’s den at Ago Oyinbo Community in the Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state. Kidnapping is reported in parts of the state, an Ondo regent was kidnapped and N20 million ransom was demanded. Four policemen and 15 persons were feared killed by daredevil armed robbers in Ondo state some time ago.

d.  Oyo State: In addition to election/political violence, sporadic fracas, revenge killings involving members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), is a recurring decimal in Ibadan axis. There is also a spike in ritual killings in Oyo state. Sunday Sun newspaper reported an incident where a man was found dead in Gbare area, Idi-Ayunre, Oluyole Local Government Area and his scrotum was severed. In a related development, suspected ritual killers in Omi-Adio axis of Ido Local Government Area, beheaded a woman and cut off her breasts and other vital organs.

e.    Osun State: Compared to other states in the South-West Nigeria, it appears Osun state has a lower crime rate. Ritual killing is reported in parts of Osun state (a motor cycle operator or ‘Okada’ rider as it is popularly called, was found hacked to death at the bank of a river at Ipetumodu, Ife North Local Government Area of Osun state and his vital body organs were removed. Few reported incidents of kidnapping in Osun state: in October 2012, the wife of the Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Alhaja Muibat Salaam was kidnapped. Also, one Mr. Semowo Abayomi was kidnapped on May 17, 2015 near Osogbo Sports Stadium and N1.5 million ransom was requested for his release. Also recall the now settled Ife-Modakeke communal violence in Osun state.

1.     South-East Nigeria consists of five states: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. Crime and Security threats representative of South East Nigeria include - high rate of kidnapping, armed robbery, carjacking and ritual killings amongst others. According to CLEEN Foundation 2013 survey, south-east Nigeria witnessed the highest rate of physical assaults and least rape cases in Nigeria. Another scourge in this clime is a recurring ‘’baby factory’’ phenomenon (grooming pregnant girls/women and selling off their babies).
a.    Abia State: Known as God’s own state, Abia state, particularly Aba neighborhood witnessed a steep upsurge in kidnapping and violent crimes until the state government took very drastic measures to check the menace. At the peak of indiscriminate, brazen kidnappings and armed robbery attacks in Abia, particularly the Aba axis in 2010, commercial activities almost came to a halt as commercial banks shut down transactions for two weeks. Schools were also shut down aftermath of the kidnapping of 15 pupils of Abayi International school, Osisioma. A notorious kidnap kingpin within in Abia state, one Mr. Obioma Nwankwo (a.k.a Osisi Ka Nkwu) was subsequently declared wanted and killed by a Joint Military Task Force. Though kidnapping is waning in the state but there are still vestiges of it. Ritual killing is also said to be a problem in parts of Abia state. Sunday Sun newspaper recounts a gruesome incident where a newly born baby was snatched from the labour room while the mother was battling for survival from post-delivery bleeding. On June 11, 2012, two pupils of Oasis Christian Academy, Amaoji in Obingwa Local Government Area – six years old Prince and his brother, four years old Kenneth Nwaoha were abducted and reportedly killed for ritual purposes - their vital organs – eyes, tongues, breasts and penis were removed by their assailants. 

b.  Anambra State: At a time Upper Iweka in Onitcha was reputed to be one of the most dangerous places, a death trap in Anambra state. About 20 corpses, including that of a Youth Corp member and a soldier were discovered inside a tunnel at Upper Iweaka sometime ago. A popular security hotspot in Onitcha, Anambra state is ‘’Upper Iweka’’. Beware of armed robbers, pick-pockets, ‘’once chance’’ motorists who brazenly operate in and around this area both at night and daytime. Recall the Okija shrine in Ihiala and Bakassi Boys saga during the administration of erstwhile governor Mbadinuju. The menace of kidnapping was alarming in Anambra state until the state government took drastic measures against culprits. From Onitsha, Eziowelle (Idemili North Local government Area) to Azigbo in Nnewi South Local Government Area, kidnap suspects were hunted down, summarily executed by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and their houses knocked down.

c.     Ebonyi State: This state is popularly called ‘’Salt of the Nation’’ because of its vast deposit of salt at Uburu and Okposi. With Abakiliki as State Capital, violent crimes and security threats representative of this state popularly known as the ‘’Salt of the Nation’’ include: kidnappings, ritual killings, cultism amongst others. The fact that kidnapping attracts the death penalty in this state doesn’t seem to deter would-be kidnappers. Some of the prominent incidents include: the Afikpo zonal manager of Nigerian breweries limited, one Mr. Kehinde Baruwa and Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Ebonyi state chapter, Dr. Johnson Obunna were kidnapped in Ebonyi state not long ago, a French tourist was robbed and killed while his wife assaulted in Ebonyi State, South East Nigeria, alleged abduction of seven under-aged children at Ishiagu community, including a nine-month old baby been breastfed by her mother, discovery of the headless body with missing private parts and fingers of 20-year old Miss Kelechi Nwawaka who was allegedly murdered at Ndiechi Eketube in Abakiliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi state).

d.  Imo state: Also known as the ‘’Land of Hope’’, Imo state has its own fair share of security challenges. Kidnapping is still very much a threat in the state notwithstanding the death penalty imposed on this violent crime.  Let’s suffice few incidents: lately, three medical doctors were kidnapped in Imo State. A senior lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri in Imo state, Dr. Mrs. Eze was kidnapped and N20 million ransom was demanded. Ritual killing though waning now, was hitherto rampart in Owerri axis during the heels of the Otokoto saga. A while ago, Sunday sun newspaper also reports of the discovery of the lifeless bodies of two female students of the Imo state University at Nworie river, old Nekede road in Owerri metropolis while the body of an unidentified young man with missing organs was found floating in the Okitankwo stream in Umuchu Uratta village near Owerri. Student cultism is also entrenched in Imo state, especially the Owerri axis due to the concentration of higher institutions of learning in the area.

e.     Enugu state: Known as ‘’Coal City Sate’’ is the former capital of the now defunct Eastern region. A 2013 national Crime Victimization and safety Survey conducted by CLEEN Foundation says that at least 70 per cent of respondents to its survey in Enugu admitted they were victims of crime in the past year. If the CLEEN crime perception survey is anything to go by, Enugu State aced other states to emerge the crime capital of Nigeria for that year. Crimes prevalent in Enugu State include: Kidnapping, armed robbery, student cultism, ritual killings amongst others. A prominent Islamic cleric and the Chief Imam of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, – Sheik Adam Idoko was kidnapped at Ogrute, Enugu-Ezike. To buttress the growing sophistication of kidnappings in Nigeria, a 4 year old boy – Steve Kanu who was kidnapped in Ogun State (South-West Nigeria) sometime in November 2015, was freed in Enugu State (South-East Nigeria) i.e. more than 500 kilometers apart. Sunday Sun Newspaper reported the discovery of an evil forest and a Shrine (Ogene Mmili) at Inyi, Enugu Ezike, Igboeze Local Government Area where suspected ritualist’s dismember their victims. About 51 minors were reportedly sexually abused or raped in Enugu state between April and August 2014. Sun Newspaper also reported the gruesome murder in Enugu Ezike of a husband and wife; Mr. and Mrs. Abba and Jacinta Ossai were murdered in cold-blood and other serial killings in that area. Similar to Owerri, an upshot of the concentration of higher institutions of learning around Enugu metropolis is the prevalence of student cult groups.

     Researched, written by:
          © Don Okereke
           Follow Don on Twitter: @DonOkereke
Don Okereke is a passionate, innovative, Information Technology, Social Media-Savvy and proven Security Analyst/Consultant, researcher, writer/blogger, and change agent with over 17 years combined Military (Air Force), Private/Industrial Security, entrepreneurial, management skills/experience distilled from Nigeria and the United kingdom. Don loves entrepreneurship and is the Founder/CEO of Forenovate Technologies Limited (RC 755695). His interest and expertise span Security/Safety/ICT/Cultural Awareness Training, Threat/Travel Advisory, Risk Assessments & mitigation, Security survey/mapping, Loss/Fraud Prevention, Due Diligence and Investigations,  Executive/Asset Protection, Business Continuity & Emergency Planning, Background Screening/Vetting,  Competitive Intelligence, Research and Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) Information Retrieval, Countering Violent Extremism Advocacy and Public Speaking, amongst others. Don has featured on conferences/seminars as a Guest Speaker and he is routinely consulted by foreign, local, print/electronic organizations for his expert opinion on issues impinging national, personal security and geopolitics. His passion, knack for writing has seen his articles published on major Nigerian newspapers such The Guardian, The Nation, NewsWatch, Tell Magazine and various reputable local and foreign social media/online platforms. Don’s loves humanity; disappointed with the rampaging insecurity, terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria, he took it upon himself to champion an Advocacy Cause against vestiges of insecurity under the aegis of ‘’Nigerians Unite Against Insecurity and Terrorism’’ and ‘’Say No To Terrorism and Insurgency’’.

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