Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State

The Partnership in Niger Delta PIND Foundation has released a report on conflict and its effects in the region according to its Niger Delta Conflict Tracker report. The report revealed startling statistics concerning the Niger Delta region in respects of violent deaths and violence against persons and communities.

According to the report, about three hundred and forty conflict-related deaths were recorded in nine Niger Delta states in June and July. Out of this, criminality accounted for 128 deaths, while gang cult accounted for 109 deaths, killings 237 deaths or 68.2% during the period under review.

According to the report, Rivers state recorded the highest number of conflict fatalities of 120 deaths accounting for more than a third of conflict-related deaths in the nine states of the Niger Delta including Abia, Imo and Ondo.

Rivers state is also confirmed to have topped the criminality and gang/cult violence killings chart with 61 persons dying in cult gang violence, and 53 crime-related deaths in June and July.

The report said listed flashpoints areas such as Abio/Akpor council, with 37 killed through cult violence, 14 persons killed through robbery, kidnap and other crimes.

The report observed that “conflict risk and lethal violence in Rivers state during this period were driven mainly by cult violence, kidnapping for ransom, violent protests, and Violence Affecting Women and Girls (VAWG)”.

Apart from Obio Akpor Council, Khana and Emuoha councils were also identified as a hotbed for violence in Rivers by recording 34 and 17 deaths for June and July.

Akwa Ibom is reported as a distant second to Rivers state with 60 deaths. Cross border conflict resulting in 40 deaths, all in Mbo council, with communal conflicts in Itu council.

Following Akwa Ibom is Delta state with 50 deaths, the state recorded fatalities mainly from criminality with 25 deaths, communal clashes including herdsmen and farmers as well as cult violence accounting for 11 deaths each.

Other states where people died from conflict-related deaths are Ondo 31 deaths, Cross rivers 27 deaths, Edo 21 deaths, Bayelsa 20 deaths,  Imo state 11, and the least being Abia with 9 deaths.

Afeno Super Odomovo said the report was part of the monthly release by ND Link. It covers June and July. According to Odomovo “This monthly tracker is designed to update peace agents on patterns and trends in conflicts, risk, and violence in Niger Delta, as identified by PIND Foundation’s integrated Peace and Development Units (IPDU) early warning system and to seek feedback and input for the response to mitigate areas of conflict”