In the decade since November 2011, 53 traditional rulers have been killed in various violent incidents across Nigeria, a report by SBM Intelligence, published on Wednesday states.
Thirty-five of them were killed in the second half of the decade in review, that is between 2016 and 2021, while the incidents in which those killings happened have become more violent, the SBM Intelligence claims.
SBM Intelligence is a geopolitical research consultancy, and, on its’ Twitter handle @sbmintelligence, it adds, “We provide analysis of the Nigerian socio-political and economic situation through such means as may prove to be expedient for the purpose.”
According to the report, which is accompanied by a Nigerian map showing the years, locations and numbers of the traditional rulers killed, “In the decade since November 2011, 53 traditional rulers have been killed in various violent incidents across Nigeria.”
Continuing, it says, “This unfortunate trend appears to be accelerating as 35 of them were killed in the second half of the decade in review, that is between 2016 and now, while the incidents in which those killings happened have become more violent.”
A prominent Nigerian traditional ruler was killed and two others abducted in 2014 by suspected Boko Haram militants in northeastern region, local officials had told Anadolu Agency.
Local and military sources said that two traditional leaders were abducted en route to Gombe State at about 10.30AM.
“The emir of Gwoza, Idrissa Timta, and [the emir] of Uba, Ismaila Mamza, were kidnapped on their way to Gombe where they intended to attend the burial of the emir of Gombe, Shehu Abubakar, who died a day before in London,” a military source told AA.
Borno State government officials had also confirmed the attack, which they said had involved three emirs, including Timta, who was later confirmed dead from gunshot injuries.
Last November 26, suspected kidnappers reportedly killed a first-class traditional ruler in Ondo State, the Olufon of lfon in Ose council area of the state, Oba Israel Adewusi.
The monarch had attended the monthly meeting of the state council of Obs in Akure and was returning to his domain when he was attacked by suspected kidnappers. It was learnt that the gunmen who were hiding in the bush along the highway attacked his vehicle at Elegbeka area and shot severally at his vehicle in an attempt to stop the driver from fleeing.
Reports had it that the monarch was hit by some of the bullets fired at his vehicle.
Also, on August 20, 2018, traditional ruler of Odo-Oro-Ekiti, a community in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Oba Gbadebo Ogunsakin, was stabbed to death.
The traditional ruler was stabbed with a knife by a man suspected to be insane after a meeting of the traditional council.
A resident, Mr. Henry Olu, said the assailant was from the same royal family as the slain traditional ruler. Olu said the assailant was earlier seen before the council meeting sitting on the throne and was chased away.
The monarch was stabbed by the assailant while he was attempting to enter his vehicle after the council meeting. “All we heard was a cry for help from the traditional ruler’s driver shortly after the council meeting.
“On getting there, we saw our traditional ruler in a pool of his blood with a knife in the chest. We tried rushing him to the hospital, but Oba Ogunsakin had died before we could,” another resident, who did not want his name mentioned, said.
The late Ogunsakin ascended the throne in 1986.
Again, on December 26, 2020, the police in Enugu State had launched an investigation into the murder of Emmanuel Mba, the monarch of Oruku Community in Mkanu East Local Government Area of the state.
The monarch died in an Enugu hospital after he was shot by uniformed men suspected to be Police officers from the Police headquarters in Abuja.
His death sparked violence in the community as irate villagers stormed homes of persons suspected to be responsible for his death and torched many houses, cars and other properties belonging to them.