The acting Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Adamu, said that 1,071 persons lost their lives in crime-related cases across the country in the first quarter of 2019.
The IGP made this known during the quarterly Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council meeting held on Tuesday in Kaduna.
Adamu said the crime statistics showed that between January and April, at least 685 persons were kidnapped across the country.
He said 767 of the persons killed were from the North.
Giving a further breakdown of the deaths, Adamu said the North-West topped the death list with 436; North-Central came second with 250; while the South-South geopolitical zone recorded 130 deaths during the period under review.
He added that Zamfara State with 203 murder cases topped the national prevalence rate, Kaduna State followed closely with 112 reported cases while 90 people were killed in Benue State.
According to him, most of the murder cases recorded in the North are linked to banditry and communal violence.
In relation to banditry, he said, a total of 175 deaths were reported between January and April this year with Zamfara State topping the list with 104 reported cases, followed by Katsina State with 21 killed by bandits and Sokoto State with 19 cases.
On kidnappings, the IGP said 546 or 79.8 per cent of the national total were recorded in the three northern geopolitical zones.
He said the highest zonal prevalence rate occurred in the North-West where 365 persons were reportedly kidnapped within the period under review.
“This is followed by the North-Central geopolitical zone where 145 persons were kidnapped.
“It is pertinent to mention that Zamfara State has the highest national kidnap rate with 281 victims in what has been directly linked to the activities of bandits in the state.
“This is followed by Kogi and Niger states where 65 and 51 persons, respecrively were kidnapped within the period,” the IG added.
On armed robbery, Adamu disclosed that a total of 212 major armed robbery cases were reported nationally within the period under review.
Adamu further said the North with 130 major robbery cases representing 59.43 per cent of the national total incident rate topped the list of armed robbery profile.
“The North-Central geopolitical zone with a total of 81 armed robbery cases represents the zone with the highest rate while Niger State, the FCT and Zamfara State with 32, 23 and 18 cases, respectively occupy the three topmost states in the national armed robbery profile,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad (111), said the monarchs in the North should not be blamed for the sundry cases of kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery.
Somali Jihadists Kill Three Americans in Attack on Kenya Military Base
Jihadists from Somalia’s Al-Shabaab group on Sunday stormed a military base used by US forces in Kenya’s coastal Lamu region, killing three American citizens and destroying several aircraft and military vehicles, officials said.
Attackers breached heavy security at Camp Simba at dawn but were pushed back and four jihadists killed, said army spokesman Colonel Paul Njuguna.
The American military, however, said three US citizens died in the attack including a service member and two civilian defence contractors.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our teammates who lost their lives today,” General Stephen Townsend, the head of US Africa Command (Africom), said in a statement.
Two other US Department of Defence personnel were wounded, the statement added, without giving further details.
Al-Shabaab has launched regular cross-border raids since Kenya sent troops into Somalia in 2011 as part of an African Union force protecting the internationally backed government — which the jihadists have been trying to overthrow for more than a decade.
The Lamu region, which includes popular tourist beach destination Lamu Island, lies close to the Somali frontier and has suffered frequent attacks, often carried out with roadside bombs.
Njuguna said “an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip” at 5:30 am but it was repulsed.
“Four terrorists’ bodies have so far been found. The airstrip is safe,” he said, adding that a fire had broken out but had since been dealt with.
Kenya’s Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said officers were “on high alert” after the attack.
An internal police report seen by AFP said two Cessna aircraft, two American helicopters and “multiple American vehicles” were destroyed at the airstrip.
Local government official Irungu Macharia said five people had been arrested near the camp and were being interrogated.
Shabaab claimed to have killed 17 Americans and nine Kenyan soldiers after the attack.
The nearby civilian airport at Manda Bay, which brings tourists visiting Lamu Island — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — was closed for several hours after the incident, according to the civil aviation authority.
Al-Shabaab said in a statement it had “successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of part of the base”.
AFRICOM accused Al-Shabaab of lying in order to create false headlines.
Shabaab countered with a second statement, saying it had been a 10-hour firefight and mocking the US “inability to fend off an attack by just a handful of steadfast Muslim men”.
The group referred to an uptick in US military airstrikes under President Donald Trump, accusing the US of “strafing villages from above and indiscriminately bombarding innocent women and children.”
AFRICOM said in April it had killed more than 800 people in 110 strikes in Somalia since April 2017.
US military network
The Somali jihadists have staged several large-scale attacks inside Kenya in retaliation for Nairobi sending troops into Somalia as well as to target foreign interests.
The group has been fighting to overthrow an internationally-backed government in Mogadishu since 2006, staging regular attacks on government buildings, hotels, security checkpoints and military bases in the country
Despite years of costly efforts to fight Al-Shabaab, the group on December 28 managed to detonate a vehicle packed with explosives in Mogadishu, killing 81 people.
The spate of attacks highlights the group’s resilience and capacity to inflict mass casualties at home and in the region, despite losing control of major urban areas in Somalia.
In a November report, a UN panel of experts on Somalia noted an “unprecedented number” of homemade bombs and other attacks across the Kenya-Somalia border in June and July last year.
On Thursday, at least three people were killed when suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen ambushed a bus travelling in the area.
According to the Institute for Security Studies, the United States has 34 known military bases in Africa, from where it conducts “drone operations, training, military exercises, direct action and humanitarian activities”.