Security chiefs and traditional rulers from northern Nigeria on Tuesday gathered in Kaduna state for a quarterly meeting amid increasing insecurity in the country, and they called for measures to address the rising crime rates.
Speakers at the security meeting expressed concern over the surge in armed robberies, carjacking, herdsmen attacks, banditry and abductions that threaten economic growth and social cohesion in the west African nation.
Police records show an escalation in violent crimes across the country.
In the first quarter of this year, 1,071 persons lost their lives and at least 685 persons were kidnapped in Nigeria, the country’s acting police chief, Mohammed Adamu, told the meeting.
Out of the 1,071 killed, 767, 71.62 percent, were from the northern region, he said.
The Northwest zone recorded 436 crime-related deaths, the highest rate in the country, followed by North-Central with 250 and South-South with 130, Adamu said.
Zamfara state led the country with 203 murders, followed by Kaduna state with 112 cases and Benue state with 90 cases, he said.
Most of the murder cases recorded in the northern zones were linked with armed banditry and communal violence, Adamu added.
A total of 175 incidents of banditry were reported in January-April, with Zamfara state recording the highest incidence of 104 cases, followed by Katsina state with 21 and Sokoto state with 19 cases, he said.
For kidnapping, Adamu said, 546 or 79.8 percent on the national total were recorded in the three northern zones, Adamu said.
Of the 212 cases of major armed robbery reported in the country, the northern region accounted for 130, or 59.43 percent, he said.
Participants at the meeting urged the country to reframe its strategies of fighting crimes, which have almost surpassed terrorism to become a leading national security threat. Enditem