The United Nations has disclosed that over 1,400 persons have been killed by gunmen in Nigeria in the last six months, describing the escalating insecurity situation in the country as “getting out of hand”.
Edward Kallon, the UN Country Director, stated this at a meeting with Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State, in Makurdi, the state capital, on Tuesday.
According to Kallon, the huge number of deaths was as a result of the killings by armed herdsmen, kidnappers and bandits operating in different parts of the country.
He said: “Pockets of conflicts and insecurity in the country at large especially where I am today (Benue), the herders and farmers crisis and also kidnapping and banditry. This is now really getting out of hand.
“The last statistics I saw from the government was that over 1,400 people were killed as a result of kidnapping and banditry since the elections.
“This is not a pleasant statistics.”
Kallon lamented that the number of persons killed within the last six months outweighs that carried out by the terrorist group Boko Haram, and blamed what he described as “weak institutions” for the current situation.
“We all know the statistics and the menace of herders/farmers problems. There were more people killed by the herders and farmers crisis than the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria.
“When I said this in Abuja, it was not being welcomed but that was one statistics we have. These are all due to weak institutions and governance deficit at the Federal, state and local level,” he said.
The UN official, therefore, called on the government to pay close attention to issues of insecurity.
On his own part, Governor Ortom stated that those responsible for fashioning out a solution to herdsmen attacks choose to politicise the issue.
According to him, adopting the position of the National Economic Council which recommended ranching is the best solution to animal husbandry.