Terrorism-related deaths reduced from 2,600 monthly to 200 under Tinubu’s government – NSA

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The National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, says terrorism-related deaths have drastically reduced in Nigeria, from about 2,600 monthly to less than 200 currently.

Mr Ribadu made this known in an interview on the sidelines of the High-Level African Counter-Terrorism Meeting, which opened on Monday in Abuja.

The event has the theme “Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Institution Building to Address the Evolving Threat of Terrorism in Africa.”

It was organised by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the UN Office for Counter-Terrorism.

The NSA said so far, the counter-terrorism efforts of the present administration have been yielding tremendous results, with low cases of terrorism deaths in various parts of the country.

“We used to record 2,600 or so a month, but now we do have less than 200 on average,” said Mr Ribadu. “It is an indication that we are getting results for the work being done.”

He said the government has been blocking access to small arms and light weapons, making it difficult for non-state actors to acquire them.

According to him, there are over three million illicit arms in the hands of wrong people in Nigeria.

“We are working, and I think we have done fairly well,” said Mr Ribadu.

“One of the things that we have seen as an indication that things are beginning to look different, for example, is the AK 47, which used to be sold for less than N500,000 last year but now goes for N5 million.

“This means it is not available, and we are mopping them up, taking them out, and destroying them. We do not just take; we destroy,” Mr Ribadu said.

The NSA said the government chose to pursue these efforts silently to achieve results.

“A lot of this work is ongoing, but people don’t really see it; we salute our armed forces, our security forces, and our governors, who are doing extremely well.

“A lot of difference is taking place in Nigeria, and that is the reason why I can assure you that in the last one year, we have reduced deaths as a result of violent crimes and the use of arms,” he said.

Mr Ribadu said the high-level meeting was convened to find ways to address the problem of terrorism effectively because of its transborder nature.

“What is happening here is the direct consequence of what is probably coming from other places,” he said, adding that the initiative was to adopt continental solutions to the problem.