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Jihadist-related insecurity persisted in North East, while bandits continued killings and mass abductions; worsening inflation heightened food crisis fears. 

Violence between jihadists and military remained high in North East. Govt conducted operations involving artillery and aerial bombardment against Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram militants around Lake Chad and Sambisa Forest in Borno state. Notably, army said airstrikes 13 April killed over 30 ISWAP members and commanders and destroyed vehicles in Kolleram village on lake. However, in Borno state, explosive devices apparently planted by ISWAP fighters 17 April struck bus in Kukawa area, killing sixteen civilians and wounding twenty others and 27 April struck vehicle in Gamboru area, killing at least nine civilian vigilantes.

Criminal groups continued mass abductions in North West and North Central. Despite govt security operations, particularly in Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara states, bandit-related violence remained prolific. Notably, in Katsina, gunmen on motorcycles 16 April abducted at least twenty persons in Na-Alma village, Malmufashi area while armed group 18 April kidnapped at least 28 from at Zamfarawar Madogara village, Batsari area. Armed gangs 19 April killed six soldiers in Shiroro area, Niger state and 27 April killed at least fourteen civilian vigilantes in Isa area, Sokoto state. Herder-farmer violence persisted in North Central zone; series of attacks on farming communities 4-28 April in Benue, Kogi and Plateau states killed over 90 people; residents blamed herder militias. 

Separatist movements continued in South East and South West. Although security in South East improved, military blamed Biafra separatists for 18 April attack on troops in Ihiala area, Anambra state that killed soldier. In Oyo state in South West, armed members of Yoruba Nation – organisation calling for breakaway of Yoruba people from Nigeria – 13 April stormed govt secretariat and parliament in capital Ibadan and hoisted flag of self-proclaimed Democratic Republic of Yoruba, before security forces arrested them.

Concerns rose over food crisis amid deepening economic problems. As inflation rose to 28-year high on 15 April with food inflation at 40%, humanitarian agencies warned of worsening food insecurity; UN 5 April reported analysis tool showed 31.8mn people face acute food crisis by June, 28% increase on same period last year.



Series of mass abductions by bandits and jihadists underlined widespread insecurity; violence also continued in South East and Niger Delta, while deepening economic crisis heightened social tensions.

Criminal groups kidnapped hundreds and killed dozens in North West and North Central. In Kaduna state, gunmen 7 March abducted scores of students and a staff member from schools in Kuriga town, Chikun area, demanding 1bn Naira (roughly $650,000) for their return; govt 24 March said all 137 students rescued alive from neighbouring Zamfara state, but staff member died in captivity. In Kaduna state, daily reports of bandit attacks 8-17 March saw at least 190 abducted and unconfirmed number killed, mostly in Kajuru and Birnin Gwari areas; in Niger State, armed group 21 March killed 29 people in attack on local market in Rafi area.

Jihadist-related insecurity continued in North East. In Borno state, UN 6 March reported jihadists 29 Feb kidnapped over 200 internally displaced people near Gamboru Ngala town; local sources said between 113 and 319 were abducted amid conflicting reports over whether Boko Haram or Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) were responsible. Military continued operations against jihadists reporting hundreds killed, while reports also emerged that former fighters had threatened to rejoin insurgency.

Violence continued in South East and flared in Niger Delta. Security forces continued operations against Biafran separatists in South East. Notably, troops 7 March killed twenty members of Indigenous People of Biafra armed wing Eastern Security Network, destroying major camp at Mother Valley in Orsu area, Imo state. In Niger Delta, clashes between communities over land dispute in Bomadi area of Delta state killed sixteen soldiers on peace mission 14 March, causing widespread outrage.

Deepening economic malaise heightened social tensions, risking unrest. Fears over cost of living crisis-related insecurity grew following late Feb stampede at food auction site in Lagos city that killed seven, with food inflation at over 35%. In suburb of federal capital Abuja, residents 3 March looted food items from govt warehouse. Crushes at relief distribution centre in Nasarawa state 22 March and charity giving event in Bauchi state 24 March left ten people dead.



Islamic State affiliate launched series of explosive device attacks in North East; bandit groups continued killings and kidnappings for ransom in much of north.

Despite security operations, jihadist violence continued in North East. Series of incidents from late Jan through Feb highlighted Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) militants’ increased use of improvised explosive devices in Borno state, causing dozens of casualties, restricting humanitarian services and hindering resettlement programs. Also in Borno, security forces 2-3 Feb repelled suspected ISWAP attack on Gajiram town in Nganzai area, with at least four police officers killed. In Yobe state’s Damaturu area, ISWAP 4 Feb killed two and abducted three others in Kukareta town, while in nearby Maltari village soldiers 18 Feb killed three militants forcefully collecting levies from residents; insurgents 24 Feb also blew up two transmission towers in area, cutting electricity supply to parts of Yobe and Borno states.

Criminal groups continued attacks and kidnappings for ransom across north. Notably, in Sabuwa area of Katsina state, armed group 1 Feb abducted bride and more than 60 other women and children, killing four vigilantes escorting them and demanding ransom payment. State’s governor Dikko Umaru Radda 9 Feb urged citizens to organise self-defence groups. Many other attacks, kidnappings and looting of villages by criminal groups occurred in Kaduna, Katsina, Nasarawa, Niger and Zamfara states throughout month, killing scores and leaving hundreds abducted.

North Central and North East zones saw incidents of herder-farmer violence. Armed attacks in Apa area of Benue state 14-16 Feb reportedly killed ten and displaced thousands; locals blamed raids on herders. In Yobe state, police said herders 12 Feb killed two people, forcing 1,500 to flee, in Gurjaje village in Fika area in apparent reprisal for Sept 2023 herder-farmer clash.

South East remained fragile despite lull in attacks by Biafran separatists. Gunmen 12 Feb attacked correctional facility in Umualomoke village in Imo state, killing officer, freeing seven inmates and abducting facility’s head.

In other important developments. National Bureau of Statistics 15 Feb reported Jan inflation rate at 29.9%, highest since 1996; economic hardship throughout month led to sporadic protests in several cities while workers union 27 Feb organised nationwide protest.



Islamic State affiliate claimed rare attack outside Lake Chad Basin; tide of kidnappings for ransom continued in and around Federal Capital Territory

Rare jihadist attack reported in central Nigeria amid continued violence in North East. Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed first attack outside Lake Chad Basin since April 2022 with 2 Jan killing of four Christians in Nasarawa state’s Karu area, about 15km from federal capital Abuja; group vowed to attack non-Muslims anywhere to avenge Palestinians killed in Gaza. Meanwhile in north-eastern Borno state, Boko Haram 1 Jan killed twelve people in Gartamawa village, Chibok area, and 8 Jan attacked Gajiram town in Nganzai area, burning six people to death; two commercial vehicles 9 Jan ran over landmines along Ngala-Dikwa road in Ngala area, with eight people dead.In neighbouring Yobe state, suspected jihadist militants 5 Jan killed several people and set church ablaze in Kwari village, Geidam area.

Surge in kidnappings for ransom continued in and around Abuja. FCT’s Commissioner for Public Complaints, Dalhatu Ezekiel, 15 Jan urged federal govt to declare state of emergency in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) amid spate of kidnappings for ransom, including 2 Jan abduction of man and his six daughters in Bwari area. Similar attacks also took place in adjoining states. Notably in Kaduna state, armed groups 2-7 Jan killed at least 21 people and kidnapped 143 others in three villages of Kauru area and near Katari town in Kachia area, along Abuja-Kaduna highway. Gunmen 16 Jan also abducted seventeen residents of Tafa area, Niger state.

Criminal groups continued attacks and abductions in North West. In Katsina state, armed group 14 Jan stormed military camp in Nahuta town, Batsari area, forcing troops to flee; toll unknown. In Zamfara state, kidnappings for ransom 9-10 Jan targeted state’s finance ministry official and senior university lecturer in state capital Gusau. 

North Central saw several incidents of herder-farmer violence. Notably, gunmen 22-23 Jan killed at least 50 villagers in Plateau state, prompting 24-hour curfew and calls for authorities to curb herder-farmer violence. Suspected herders 31 Jan raided village in Agatu area, Benue state, killing at least nine people and kidnapping others.



Armed groups and govt forces killed 300 civilians as violence remained widespread in North West and North Central zones; Supreme Court ruled separatist leader must be tried for terrorism.

Army mistakenly launched drone strike on civilians in North West Zone. During routine security operation in Kaduna state, army 3 Dec mistook villagers celebrating Muslim festival in Tudun Biri village for armed group members, and struck them with two drones, killing at least 85 people. After some initial confusion, army 4 Dec confirmed striking civilians by mistake, and President Tinubu 5 Dec ordered investigation. UN Human Rights Office 6 Dec urged authorities to “take all feasible steps” to protect civilians as they combat various armed groups in northern states.

Gunmen went on killing spree in North Central Zone. Armed groups 24-25 Dec rampaged through about 25 farming villages of Bokkos and Barkin Ladi areas in Plateau State, killing at least 198 people, and displacing more than 10,000. No group claimed responsibility, but attacks occurred in area long plagued by herder-farmer violence. Kidnappings for ransom continued to surge in Federal Capital Territory, with victims abducted not only in peripheral settlements but also inside city: at least 73 residents abducted 9-29 Dec in Bwari and Kuje areas, as well as villages in neighbouring Niger state.

Supreme Court reinstated terrorism charges against Biafra separatist leader. Supreme Court 15 Dec ruled leader of separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, must be tried for terrorism although his extradition from Kenya in 2021 was illegal; decision, which reversed Appeal Court’s October 2022 ruling, may prompt hardline IPOB faction to escalate violence. Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen 10 Dec killed seven people, including members of local vigilante group, in attack on nightclub in Oba town, Idemili area of Anambra state.

Cost-of-living crisis deepened as inflation rose to 18-year high. World Bank 13 Dec said national currency (naira) has lost 41% of its value against dollar on official currency market since May and 30% on parallel market, urged govt to “take additional measures” for economy. National Bureau of Statistics 15 Dec said consumer inflation rose to 28.20% in Nov from 27.33% in Oct.



Violence by diverse armed groups continued in many states, while ruling party consolidated power at state level.

Fighting between rival jihadist groups continued in North East. Clashes between Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) combatants 18 Nov left about 70 dead on Tumbum Ali Island in Marte area, Borno state; security sources said fighting escalated following influx of arms and fighters from Islamic State Sahel Province joining ISWAP. Two trucks loaded with ISWAP militants 26 Nov hit landmine in Marte area, leaving about 50 dead. Meanwhile, also in Borno, Boko Haram combatants 6 Nov killed at least 15 farmers in Mafa area, and ISWAP 18 Nov ambushed Yobe state governor’s convoy on Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, wounding six security personnel.

Armed groups killed and abducted scores in North West. In Sokoto state, gunmen 2-12 Nov attacked villages in Wurno, Rabah and Tangaza areas, killed at least 24 people and abducted unconfirmed number. In Katsina state, armed group 5 Nov attacked Muslim Maulud celebration in Musawa area, killing at least 20 people and abducting others. In Zamfara state, armed group 24 Nov abducted at least 100 people in four villages of Maru area, after residents failed to pay “tax” demanded by group.

Criminal violence and Biafra separatist unrest continued in South East. Abia state govt late Oct discovered over 70 bodies in Umunneochi area, said bodies must be those of kidnapping-for-ransom victims. Gunmen 17 Nov killed two police officers in Ebonyi state capital Abakaliki, 27 Nov killed another two in Ahiazu Mbaise area, Imo state; police blamed armed wing of Indigenous People of Biafra separatist group.

Ruling party consolidated power at state level. President Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress (APC) won two of three governorship elections held 11 Nov. APC also made major gains through election petitions: Appeal Court in capital Abuja 16-19 Nov annulled opposition’s victory in March 2023 governorship elections in Zamfara state, Kano and Plateau states; 23 Nov reversed election petition tribunal’s verdict sacking Nasarawa state APC governor, upholding his re-election. APC now controls 22 of country’s 36 states.



Supreme Court upheld President Tinubu’s election win, while levels of criminal, jihadist and separatist violence remained high across country.

Tinubu’s presidential win confirmed. Supreme Court 26 Oct refused to overturn Feb election of Bola Tinubu as president, ending legal challenge brought by his rivals, who had argued vote was flawed and Tinubu was not qualified to run.

Suspected jihadists launched deadly attacks in North East. Suspected Islamic State West Africa Province militants 30-31 Oct shot at villagers and set off land mine in Gaidam area of Yobe state, killing at least 37 people. After Bauchi state in Sept reported rising violence, state governor 9 Oct said 67 armed group members killed and 29 abductees rescued during recent security operation in Tafawa Balewa area; attacks continued in Bauchi, however, with gunmen 15 Oct killing nine members of vigilante group in Ningi area. Meanwhile, pro-govt militia group Civilian Joint Task Force 1 Oct announced dismissal of founding leader Lawan Jafar over corruption allegation; move may hamper operations against jihadist groups in North East due to Jafar’s standing among militia members.

Criminal violence continued unabated in North West and North Central zones. Security operations against armed groups, including 10-11 Oct air strikes in Maru area of Zamfara state, remained inadequate to stem attacks and mass abductions. Notably, gunmen 16 Oct killed three and abducted 50 in mining village in Anka area, Zamfara. States of Kaduna, Benue, Niger and Nasarawa in Oct also saw abductions and killings by armed groups.

Targeted killings continued in South East. Following several attacks in Sept on security and state officials in Imo state, suspected Biafra separatists mid-Oct hacked to death Ebonyi state university official during visit to Imo town. Meanwhile, two major factions of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) separatist group issued contradictory messages on future plans; self-proclaimed PM of Biafra Republic Government in Exile, Simon Ekpa, who in Aug declared himself commander of new Biafra Liberation Army, 5 Oct said Biafran authorities would “soon start full government”; however, mainstream faction two days later said group was open to talks with federal govt on Biafran independence, offering opportunity for Tinubu to start dialogue.



Court dismissed opposition’s challenge to Bola Tinubu’s presidential election win, while jihadist, criminal and separatist groups continued to fuel insecurity across country.

Election tribunal upheld Tinubu’s presidential win. Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal 6 Sept rejected opposition parties’ challenges to Bola Tinubu’s win in February presidential election. Main opposition presidential candidates in following days appealed against judgement at Supreme Court.

In North East zone, Bauchi state reported mounting insecurity. As part of military operations against jihadist groups in Borno state, air force 12 Sept announced bombing Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) combatants in Kala/Balge area. Meanwhile in neighbouring Bauchi state, authorities 13 Sept reported increasing attacks by armed groups fleeing military operations in neighbouring states, while security operatives 16 Sept rescued over 30 abductees in Alkaleri area.

Armed group violence continued in North West and North Central zones. In Kaduna state, gunmen 1 Sept killed at least seven people in mosque at Saya-Saya village, Ikara area. In Zamfara state, armed groups 9 Sept reportedly abducted over 50 people near Anka town, and 22 Sept abducted about 24 mainly female students in Sabon-Gida village. Abuja-based Daily Trust newspaper 19 Sept reported armed groups in recent days attacked seven villages at border between Kebbi and Sokoto states, killing unconfirmed number and forcing hundreds to flee. In Plateau state, armed group 10 Sept attacked Kulben village in Mangu area, killing ten people; residents blamed attack on “armed Fulani militia”.

Kidnappings-for-ransom continued in South East amid persistent Biafra agitation. Security personnel continued to battle faction of outlawed separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) enforcing lockdown across South East zone. Notably, suspected IPOB members 19 Sept killed eight security forces in ambush in Ehime Mbano area of Imo state. Air force 26 Sept bombed two locations identified as IPOB training camps and armouries in Nnewi North area, Anambra state, and Okigwe area, Imo state. Meanwhile in Enugu state, police 3 Sept clashed with gunmen allegedly attempting to abduct travellers in Enugu East area, with two assailants and one policeman dead; gunmen 17 Sept abducted Catholic priest and six others in Udi area, demanded ransom for their release.



Turmoil increased among rival jihadists in North East Zone, while military suffered deadly armed group attack in North Central Zone.

Jihadist violence continued to wreak havoc in Borno state, North East Zone. Boko Haram fighters 12 Aug attacked military base near Konduga town, killing three soldiers, and later same day shot ten farmers dead in Maiwa village, 5km outside Borno state capital Maiduguri. Group 22 Aug also kidnapped over 40 women on their farms near Maiduguri-Mafa road in Jere area, released them three days later after state official reportedly paid ransom. Turmoil continued to increase between – and within – rival jihadist groups. Inter-ethnic clash among Boko Haram fighters 15 Aug reportedly left 82 dead in Kukawa area; crisis allegedly sparked by execution of seven fighters from Buduma tribe after they tried to surrender to govt troops. In what could amount to deadliest confrontation to date, Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province 18-19 Aug clashed near Marte town, allegedly resulting in death of over 100 combatants on both sides.

Army suffered deadly armed group attack in North Central Zone. Armed group 14 Aug ambushed soldiers near Kundu village in Zungeru area of Niger state (North Central); at least 36 soldiers killed in attack and subsequent crash of military medical evacuation helicopter. Domestic intelligence agency 16 Aug warned of imminent kidnapping-for-ransom attack on Abuja-Kaduna railway line. Military operations against criminal groups continued. Notably, security forces 10 Aug rescued ten people held hostage at Birnin Yero village, Igabi area of Kaduna state (North West).

President Tinubu’s economic policies faced opposition amid aggravated hardship. Labour unions 2 Aug led marches across country to protest soaring cost of living notably since Tinubu removed fuel subsidy; labour union representatives later same day met with Tinubu and agreed to return to talks. Meanwhile, nearly three months after taking office, Tinubu 21 Aug swore in 45 ministers; bloated cabinet widely seen as contradictory to Tinubu’s campaign promise of reducing governance costs.

In other important developments. Niger coup leaders 3 Aug announced withdrawing ambassador to Nigeria as West African regional bloc ECOWAS, presided over by Tinubu, threatened to use force to restore constitutional order (see Niger).



Jihadists and criminal groups killed dozens in North East and North West, herder-farmer violence flared in North Central states, while security forces fought separatists enforcing sit-at-home order in South East.

Jihadist violence persisted in Borno state, North East zone. Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) 25 July killed 32 civilians, including 25 herders, in two attacks in Gudumbali forest and Gubio area. Meanwhile, ISWAP 5 July killed scores of Boko Haram members in Sambisa Forest near Bama area. Counter-insurgency operations continued, with air force 5 July bombing ISWAP gathering near Marte town and 15 July launching airstrikes on ISWAP camps in southern islands of Lake Chad. Troops 20 July also repelled ISWAP attack on army post near Monguno town. Jihadist attacks continued, however.

Jihadist activity reported in North West zone amid persistent criminal violence. In Zamfara state, gunmen 10 July killed four police officers on Gusau-Sokoto road in Bungudu area, and 24 July killed at least 29 persons, including seven soldiers, in Maru area. Troops throughout month engaged suspected criminals at several locations, notably in Zamfara’s Maru area and Kaduna state’s Kagarko area. MP from Sokoto state, Sani Yakubu, 12 July said jihadists from Niger, Mali and Libya had joined forces with local criminals and taken over Tangaza area.

Herders-farmer violence continued in North Central zone. In Benue state, assailants 7-8 July killed 33 people in attacks on three villages in Ukum area; residents blamed Fulani herders, while Benue governor said some killings related to communal feuds and banditry. In Plateau state, gunmen 1-8 July killed at least 16 villagers of Mangu area; residents blamed attacks on Fulani armed groups hired by herders.

South East zone saw uptick in separatist violence. Gunmen 3-10 July enforced stay-at-home order in South East zone to press demands for release of outlawed separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu, leading to shootings and confrontations with security forces. Notably, police 7 July killed four gunmen near Awkunanaw town, Enugu state, and gunmen next day killed two people in Owerri North area, Imo state.

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