The acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has revealed that a total of 1,071 people were killed in crime-related cases across the country in the first quarter of 2019.
The Police chief made the disclosure during the quarterly Northern Traditional Rulers' Council meeting which took place in Kaduna State on Tuesday, April 30, 2019.
The killings were most prevalent in the north where 767 people were killed, with the northwest region topping the list with 436. While the north central recorded 250 deaths, the south-south recorded 130.
Zamfara State is the worst-hit as it recorded 203 homicides during the period under review. The northwestern state has been terribly-hit with a wave of kidnappings and killings by bandits, making it the face of insecurity in the country over the past few months.
The state recorded 104 bandit-related deaths out of the total 175 reported cases of banditry, followed by Katsina (21) and Sokoto (19). Most of the murder cases recorded in the north, according to the IGP, are linked to banditry and communal violence.
Zamfara also recorded the highest national kidnap rate with 281 victims in 2019 alone. At least 685 people were kidnapped across the country.
"It is pertinent to mention that Zamfara State has the highest national kidnap rate with 281 victims in what has been directly linked to the activities of bandits in the state," the IGP said.
79.8% of the national total of kidnappings were recorded in the three northern geopolitical zones, with the hotspot once again being the northwest where 365 people were abducted.
Of the 212 major armed robbery cases reported nationally, 130 (59.43%) took place in the north with Zamfara recording the third highest.
"The North-Central geopolitical zone with a total of 81 armed robbery cases represents the zone with the highest rate while Niger State, the FCT and Zamfara State with 32, 23 and 18 cases, respectively occupy the three topmost states in the national armed robbery profile," the IGP said.
Adamu told the traditional rulers that there are ongoing plans by the Police to implement a citizen-centred and community policing approach that'll effectively combat crimes in the country.
He noted that traditional rulers have very important roles to fulfill as strategic actors within the community policing architecture.
The IGP will appear before the Senate on Tuesday, May 7 over issues of insecurity across the country.