At least 56,158 Nigerians were displaced or affected by growing insecurity and other conflicts in 10 northern states of the country within the first three months of the year.
According to a United Nations agency, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix compiled by Daily Trust between January and March, the displacements were caused by ongoing violence, growing insecurity, banditry, armed attacks, and non-state armed groups in various local government areas in northern Nigeria.
The IOM is an agency of the United Nations. The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), according to the agency, gathers and analyses data to disseminate critical multi-layered information on the mobility, vulnerabilities, and needs of displaced and mobile populations that enable decision-makers and responders to provide these populations with better context-specific assistance.
The figure compiled is aside from other scores of unreported cases of displacement as IOM uses direct observation and a broad network of key informants to gather representative data and collect information on the number, profile and immediate needs of affected populations.
A significant number of those affected were displaced out of fear of future attacks in their communities. Most of the displaced people relocated to uncompleted structures in public schools, uncompleted or/and abandoned houses while others sought shelter with relatives and friends.
President of Lakpma Youth Assembly, Jibrin Abdullahi Allawa, had said over 100 communities in eight wards of Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State were sacked by bandits.
The increased displacement figures points to growing cases of insecurity in the country that has also led to the loss of hundreds of lives.
Among states affected are Benue, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Borno, Gombe, Plateau and Adamawa.
The report showed that among the displacements, the highest number of affected people was the occurrence in Kaduna State in March as a result of fear of attacks by bandits in Kwatan Jatau, Kwatan aziri, Guguwa and Angwan Kano villages in Ragasa Ward of Igabi LGA of the state.
The international agency in its March 23, 2021 report said, “Between 13 and 21 March, the fear of attacks by bandits have led to a fresh wave of population displacement. Following these events, a rapid assessment was conducted by Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) field staff with the purpose of informing the humanitarian community and government partners, and enable targeted response.”
The report showed that the movement involved 1,010 individuals in 202 households who moved to LEA Primary school located in Rigasa Ward.
In another incident in Zamfara State, approximately 5,260 were affected and or displaced from Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State between March 1 and 7, 2021 as a result of attacks and insecurity.
In Borno State, between March 1 and 2, 2021, a Non-State Armed Group (NSAG) carried out an attack in Dikwa LGA, leading to a substantial wave of population displacement.
“The attack in Dikwa LGA affected approximately 27,857 individuals from Dikwa Ward and has caused considerable movement towards Ajiri Ward located in neighbouring Mafa LGA. Other displaced persons fled to other LGAs, including the state’s capital Maiduguri,” the DTM released on March 9, 2021 stated.