By Francesca Iwambe, Abuja
The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) has ranked Nigeria eighth amongst the countries of the world most impacted by terrorism.
IEP's Global Terrorism Index (GTI), published in March 2023, places Nigeria just behind Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Mali, Somalia, Burkina Faso and Afghanistan.
The silver lining in Nigeria's black terror cloud is a decline in terror attacks between 2021 and 2022. There was a 23 percent drop in the total resulting deaths.
“The impact of terrorism continues to decline in Nigeria; with total deaths falling by 23 percent, decreasing from 497 in 2021 to 385 in 2022. The number of terrorist attacks in Nigeria also fell considerably, with 120 incidents recorded in 2022 compared to 214 in 2021. This is the lowest number of terror attacks and deaths since 2011,” the GTI states.
“The military overtook law enforcement as the most targeted group in 2022. Military personnel were targeted in a quarter of all attacks, followed by civilians at 24 percent, and law enforcement at 18 per cent. Despite this, half of all terrorism deaths in Nigeria in 2022 were civilians.
“Civilian deaths increased 78 percent from 2021 to 196 deaths; while military deaths dropped considerably, falling 74 percent from 2021 to 58 deaths in 2022″, the report revealed.
According to the report, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWA), Boko Haram and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were among the top ten deadliest terrorist groups in the world on the 2022 GTI.
ISWA and Boko Haram have fought a fight for terror monopoly in the last decade. GTI states that ISWA has become the top terror group.
“ISWA continues to be the deadliest terrorist group in Nigeria for the third consecutive year. The group's lethality rate increased for the first time in two years, from just over three deaths per attack in 2021 to 3.7 deaths per attack in 2022.
“ISWA recorded its lowest number of attacks and deaths since 2020, at 57 attacks and 211 deaths in 2022, a decline of 28 percent in attacks and 13 percent for deaths when compared to the previous year. The lethality of ISWA's attacks increased for the first time in two years, from just over three deaths per attack in 2021 to almost 3.6 deaths per attack in 2022.
“The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), designated as a terrorist group by the Nigerian government in 2017, recorded their deadliest year in 2022. They were responsible for 40 attacks and 57 deaths in 2022, an increase from 26 attacks and 34 deaths the year prior. IPOB is a separatist movement with many factions, many of which are seeking a peaceful succession from Nigeria.
“Boko Haram's attacks almost halved within the last year, while deaths attributed to the group increased slightly from 69 in 2021 to 72 in 2022. This is the lowest number of attacks by the group for over a decade. Boko Haram's decline has resulted in a substantial improvement in terrorism in Borno State, which experienced a decrease of 12 percent in terrorism-related deaths when compared with the year prior. Attacks in the state also decreased from 91 to 48 respectively, a decrease of 47 percent.
“ISWA is now the most prominent group in Borno State, recording 40 incidents that resulted in 168 deaths in 2022, compared to Boko Haram's six incidents and 63 deaths”, the report added.