Factsheet: Religious Freedom in Nigeria – Q3 2020

Through the first half of 2020, Nigeria suffered a steady number of terrorist attacks and deaths. Nearly every day of the first six months, there was at least one attack conducted by violent extremist groups. According to ICC’s research, there were only 6 days in the first six months that did not have a violent incident caused by extremist groups. At least 400 violent events took place, meaning that there was an average of two violent events every day of the first half of the year.

The third quarter of the year had slightly lower rate of attacks. According to International Christian Concern’s research, the third quarter saw 115 violent incidents involving terrorist or militant groups throughout Nigeria. Despite this relative calm, there were only 8 days during the third quarter in which reports were not released about armed groups conducting attacks. However, this excludes the many smaller attacks that never make it to the media.

The violence continued to spread further south, with attacks taking place as far south as Imo, Oyo, Ogun, Delta, and Edo States. This is illustrative of a concerning trend where the violence traditionally associated with herders and farmers the north and north-central areas of the country is spreading further south each year.

Also, as in previous quarters, the Nigerian government and military remained heavily involved in fighting against the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, but had almost no interactions with Fulani militants. This is despite the fact that nearly all Boko Haram activity in Nigeria is restricted to Borno and Yobe states, along with a few attacks in Adamawa, while Fulani militant attacks took place in 15 of the country’s 36 states.

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