Nigeria is confronted by multiple security challenges, notably the resilient Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in the north east, long-running discontent and militancy in the Niger Delta, increasing violence between herders and farming communities spreading from the central belt southward, and separatist Biafra agitation in the Igbo south east. Violence, particularly by the Boko Haram insurgency, has displaced more than two million people, created a massive humanitarian crisis, and prompted the rise of civilian vigilante self-defence groups that pose new policy dilemmas and possible security risks. Crisis Group seeks to help the Nigerian government by shedding new light on the country’s security challenges, de-escalating risks and tension, and encouraging regional and gender-specific approaches toward ending the violence durably.

CrisisWatch Nigeria

Unchanged Situation

Military operations continued against jihadists, bandits and other armed groups, but killings and abductions persisted while herder-farmer and separatist violence also flared. 

Army reported gains in anti-jihadist campaign in North East. Govt continued “clearance campaign” against Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram militants around Lake Chad and Sambisa Forest in Borno state. Notably, troops 9 May raided ISWAP enclave and killed six fighters near Goniri village, Damboa area, while army 19 May said it rescued 386 people from Boko Haram strongholds in Sambisa Forest. ISWAP 28 May killed 31 fishermen with 40 others missing in Kukawa area, and 30 May ordered all residents of area to leave by 1 June or be killed. 

Criminal group violence remained high in North West and North Central zones. Despite govt operations, armed groups continued killings and abductions in several states including Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Niger, Plateau and Zamfara. Notably in Zamfara, gunmen 7-11 May killed almost 50 and abducted over 100 civilians in eight villages in Anka and Birnin-Magaji areas. In Plateau, armed group 20 May killed around 50 in attack in Wase area. In Niger, armed groups 24-27 May reportedly killed at least six people, raped at least ten women and girls, and abducted 160 others in Munya area.

Herder-farmer violence persisted in North Central zone. In Benue state, armed group 3 and 14 May attacked Ogbaulu village in Agatu area, killing at least thirteen villagers; local official blamed attacks on herders. Meanwhile in Plateau, gunmen 8 May killed two herders and hundreds of cattle in Bassa area; chair of local Fulani organisation condemned attempts to “annihilate” community.

Biafra separatists and military continued to clash in South East zone. In Imo state’s Orsu area, army 7 May said troops had killed key commander of separatist group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) armed wing Eastern Security Network and two of his lieutenants near Ihiteukwa town. In Abia state, gunmen 17 May killed two soldiers and civilian in Aba city and 30 May killed five soldiers and six civilians in Obingwa area; military blamed attacks on IPOB, vowed fierce response. 

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23 lut 2023
We must take these [Nigerian presidential elections] polls with a generous amount of salt.The poll samples are small and focusing on literate people. Reuters

Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria

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Nnamdi Obasi

Senior Adviser, Nigeria
Nnamdi Obasi

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