Ten deadly attacks in Nigeria in 2021

Insecurity in Nigeria could be said to have worsened in 2021 as the country witnessed some of the bloodiest attacks in its history.

Almost every geopolitical zone in the country suffered one form of attack or the other, notably from outfits such as Boko Haram/ISWAP, IPOB separatists and bandits.

The country also witnessed the highest number of school children abductions and hostage-taking since 2014 when the Chibok schoolgirls were abducted.

Besides, the country also witnessed the highest number of jailbreaks in a single year as no fewer than four prisons were affected.

Also, bandits overshadowed the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists as they made some states in the North-west and North-central the epicentres of killings in the country.

Although the President Muhammadu Buhari administration repeatedly claimed that Nigerians are more secure under it than under the previous administrations, this assertion has been disputed by facts on the ground.

Here are 10 of the major attacks witnessed across the country in 2021.

Greenfield University abduction

Bandits in April attacked Greenfield University, a private university in Kaduna State, and kidnapped many students.

Greenfield University, Kaduna

Greenfield University is located along the Kaduna–Abuja Highway, some few Kilometers to the Olam feed factory which is about 30km from Kaduna town.

About 14 of the abducted students were freed after 40 days in captivity but five others were later killed by the bandits.

Bethel Baptist school abduction

Bandits in the early hours of July 5 invaded Bethel Baptist High School, Maraban Damishi, Kujama in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State and kidnapped 121 students of the school.

Bethel Baptist High School

Reports said the parents paid humongous amounts as ransom before the students were released in batches.

The Nigerian police a few weeks later announced that it arrested 25 suspects in connection to the incident.

Kagara abduction

Bandits in February invaded Government Secondary School, Kagara in Niger State and abducted 42 persons, including 27 students, three staff members and 12 members of their families.

Signage of Kagara High school

The bandits raided two of the five hostels in the school, Barde and Lafene halls, to ferret out the students, killing one of them, Benjamin Habilah, in the process.

The incident drew swift condemnations from many persons and institutions, including from the United Nations which described attacks on schools and other educational facilities as “abhorrent and unacceptable.”

The students were released after 10 days in captivity following the intervention of the state government which negotiated their freedom.

FGC Yauri abduction

Armed bandits in June abducted two staff and 30 students of Government College (FGC), Yauri in Kebbi State, North-west Nigeria.

Aside from the kidnap, the bandits wounded security personnel during an exchange of gunfire.

The heavily armed bandits, who came on motorcycles, reportedly entered the town from the neighbouring Rijau forest in Niger State.

The staff and students regained their freedom four months after.

Burnt passengers in Sokoto

Armed gunmen in December ambushed a vehicle of 40 passengers travelling from Sabon Birni Local Government Area in Sokoto State and burnt them alive.

Some of the passengers including children who were travelling from the town of Sabon Birni to the town of Isa near the Nigerian border with Niger were then burnt to death.


The state government however announced later on that only 21 persons were killed. Mr Buhari condoled with the family in a statement by his media aide.

Owerri Prison break

A total of 1,844 prisoners were freed in April when gunmen attacked a correctional facility in Owerri, Imo state.

The attack on the prison by armed men was allegedly carried out by members of the outlawed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB).

The group had been blamed for previous attacks on security officers and facilities in the South-east and South-south regions.

Owerri police headquarters

The Nigeria Police Force headquarters in Owerri, Imo state capital was attacked by armed men, same day the correctional facility was attacked in April.

No police officer was killed in the attack but one sustained bullet wounds, police spokesperson, Frank Mba, said.

The police said they believe the attack was carried out by members of the outlawed Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) and its security outffit, ESN.

Maiduguri rocket attack

Terrorists in February killed at least 10 people in Borno state using rocket-propelled grenades, which local officials describe as a “new trend”.

The terrorists who were suspected to be Boko Haram militants fired from the outskirts of the north-eastern city of Maiduguri into densely populated areas, according to Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum.

The governor at the time described it as the worst attack of its kind in Maiduguri in a year.

Giwa Attack in Kaduna

Suspected bandits in December attacked villages in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State killing 38 persons.

The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the incident in a statement. He also said the death toll had risen.

Aside from the persons killed, houses, trucks, and cars were also burnt by the attackers along with agricultural produce at various farms.

45 farmers in Nasarawa

About 45 farmers were killed in December and 27 injured following renewed hostility in Lafia, Obi and Awe local government areas of Nasarawa state.

The first attack, which started on a Friday morning, reportedly continued up till Sunday night.

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