By Clifford Ndujihe, Politics Editor
AFTER surviving the insecurity and other socio-economic challenges of 2022, death is the last thing on the minds of most people who crossed over to January 2023.
However, less than 20 days into 2023, the Nigerian polity is littered with untimely and aborted dreams. No fewer than 508 people, across the country, have had their lives violently terminated in their prime, according to Saturday Vanguard checks.
A deadly combination of violence, accidents, cult clashes, activities of Boko Haram insurgents, unknown gunmen and separatists in, kidnappers, and bandits have practically created many killing fields across Nigeria in the last 19 days.
On December 31 of every year, many people troop to religious and prayer houses where they thank God for the ending year and pray for better tidings— good health, long life, prosperity and other favours in the new year.
Often, many people outline a litany of lofty goals they want to pursue in the coming year.
They top it up with the exchange of goodwill wishes and messages with friends and family. No matter how old, instant death is usually ruled out. Even those who are ill expect to get well in the New Year.
The 508 deaths, according to Saturday Vanguard’s checks, include 25 Nigerians who were snatched by the outbreak of Diphtheria disease in Kano. Two persons died of Diphtheria in Lagos. They also include those of a couple set ablaze by suspected arsonists shortly after they returned from cross-over church service in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on January 1.
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The death figure is not exhaustive because it is based on reported cases.
How 508 lives were wasted in January 2023
* Seven persons were confirmed dead in an accident on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and sixteen others were injured in the crash.
*Five persons were killed and four others were injured as a motorist rammed into a group of friends at Akinmorin near Oyo town.
*Gunmen killed a seven-month pregnant woman, Mrs Urenma Chima, Ebubeagu commander’s wife in Ebonyi State.
*Two persons were shot dead as gunmen attacked a military checkpoint at Ubomiri/Nwaorie Ubi Road in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State.
*A medical doctor, Dr Uyi Iluobe was shot dead at Olive Clinic, in Oghareki, Ethiopia West council.
*Suspected arsonists set a couple ablaze, shortly after they returned from cross-over church service in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
*Eight persons died, 22 sustained various injuries in two separate accidents in Ogun State.
* Airstrikes killed 33 Boko Haram militants in Bama, Borno.
* Bandits killed three and abducted one in Abeokuta, Ogun.
* Five were killed when someone deliberately drove into a party in Afijio, Oyo.
* Police killed one bandit in Gusau, Zamfara.
* Gunmen killed five in Awka South, Anambra.
* Gunmen killed four police officers during an attack on Ohakim’s convoy in Ehime-Mbano, Imo.
* Police officers killed one bandit in Jibia, Katsina.
* Gunmen killed one and abducted six in Toto, Nassarawa.
* Troops killed four bandits in Giwa, Kaduna.
* Ohakim escaped death as four of his police orderlies were killed in a bomb attack on his convoy.
* Four persons were shot dead by suspected hoodlums in Nodu Okpuno in Akwa North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
* Police Command in Katsina State neutralised a suspected terrorist while repelling their attack on Magamar Jibia, Jibia Local Government Area of the State.
* Nigerian Air force Super Tucano jets between January 1 and 2, eliminated 33 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists during air strikes at four of their camps in Bama Local Government Area.
· Gunmen killed five in Akoko North-East, Ondo.
·Kehinde, a herbalist died during a marathon sex romp with his girlfriend in a hotel room in Ekiti State.
· Remains of Oreoluwa Fatinoye, son of the couple killed and set ablaze afterwards by assailants, was fished out from Ogun River.
· Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, confirmed that 15 persons were killed and five others were injured in an auto crash that occurred in Kogi State.
· Troops of Operation Forest Sanity eliminated four terrorists and recovered arms and ammunition in two encounters in Kaduna State.
.More than 20 farmers were feared killed after a boat carrying about 100 farmers capsized in Kebbi State.
·Councillor and five others were killed in the Sapele bloodbath.
·A vigilante operative was killed and two others were injured by gunmen in Anambra State.
· Police in Zamfara repelled the bandits’ attack, killed one and arrested five others.
·Multiple auto crashes that occurred a few kilometres from Nabardo village on Bauchi-Jos Federal Highway burnt 18 people to death.
·A couple, and six others were arrested for killing and dismembering a 26-year-old lady in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
· A cult war resulted in four deaths in Sapele, Delta.
· Gunmen killed one vigilante in Ihiala, Anambra.
·Police officers killed one bandit in Malumfashi, Katsina.
·One police officer and two bandits were killed during a clash in Akwanga, Nasarawa.
·Family of a 35-year-old baker, Hanofi Taofeek was thrown into mourning after he was crushed to death by a commercial bus driver, Arinze Okafor, in Lagos.
·No fewer than seven people from Kwanar Dangora town in Kiru Local Government Area of Kano State were killed in an auto crash that occurred along Kano-Zaria Road.
·Seven people from Kwanar Dangora town in Kiru LGA died in a motor accident along Kano-Zaria road.
·Three persons died and eight others were injured when a speeding Toyota Corolla hit a taxi from the rear at the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
·Nuhu Usman from Bauchi State was arrested for killing one of his wives with a dane gun.
·Burnt body of an unidentified man, concealed in a sack, was dumped by alleged cult members in Akure.
·Gunmen shot four persons dead including the legislative leader of Warri North Local Government Council.
·Taiwo Ajalorun was arrested by police operatives in Ondo State with a container full of a human dead body and an Itel phone of a dismembered 26-year-old mother of two.
·Ondo State government imposed a 24-hour curfew on Ikare-Akoko, Akoko North East, following a bloody clash, which claimed five lives during the youths’ carnival.
·Precious Adiele, member of a cult group was killed in a gang war that also left an unidentified elderly resident burnt to death in Port Harcourt.
·Kidnappers killed one and abducted one in Ethiope West, Delta.
· Police officers killed two gunmen in Gusau, Zamfara.
· Boko Haram killed 35 Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) militants in Kukawa, Borno.
· Police officers killed two kidnappers in Alkaleri, Bauchi.
·A woman was killed while her husband and son sustained injuries in a motorbike accident on the Abeokuta-Ibadan road.
·12 persons were killed and five others were injured in a road accident that occurred in Sokoto.
· Communal violence resulted in one death in Pategi, Kwara.
· One person was confirmed dead with many others injured during the Yoruba Nation agitators rally in Ojota, Lagos.
·Police neutralised two suspected gun runners and recovered explosive shells in Zamfara.
·Kano State Police arrested Ghadiffi Sagir for allegedly killing his step mother and her daughter.
·Bandits killed twelve security operatives in Birnin-Gwari, Kaduna.
·Bandits killed one vigilante in Rafi, Niger State.
·Three men were arrested in Katsina State over a clash between the police and some hoodlums on New Year’s Day which resulted in the death of a nine-year-old boy.
·Police in Zamfara killed two gun runners who were conveying arms to terrorists’ camp in Zamfara from Taraba State.
·A member of a vigilance group was killed as local hunters repelled bandits’ attacks In Niger State.
·Warri cult groups killed one person in his home in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra.
·A 200-level student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University was shot dead by armed robbers.
·A young man, Uchenna Okafor, allegedly died in police custody in Anambra State.
·An unidentified woman was killed by motorists around NNPC junction along the Kubwa-Zuba Expressway, Abuja.
·Suspected hoodlums murdered an intending couple in Imo State.
·Gunmen killed four in Ihiala, Anambra.
·Gunmen killed three in Ideato North, Imo.
·Residents of Ushafa in Bwari Area, Abuja were thrown into confusion as gunmen invaded the community, killed Benjamin Ogundare and abducted his family members.
·Trailer killed an official of the Nigeria Security Defense Corps, NSCDC in Niger State.
·Bandits killed one and abducted two in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory.
·Bandits killed two and abducted four in Igabi, Kaduna.
·Nigerian troops killed five Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) militants in Mbaitoli, Imo.
·The lifeless body of a man, identified only as Segun, was found in a hotel in Ogun State.
·Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers killed a man, Benjamin Ogundare and abducted two of his relatives, Goodluck Ogundare and Janet Ogundare in Abuja.
·13-year-old committed suicide in Niger State after she was caned by her parents.
· A community leader in Kaduna State was killed by suspected bandits at his residence in Unguwar Mai Awo village.
· Anambra State Joint Task Force on security recovered four bodies suspected to have been killed by unknown gunmen at Eziani village in Ihiala Local Government Area of the state.
· A Deputy Superintendent of Police attached to the Anti-kidnapping Unit of the Edo State Police Command died during a shootout with kidnappers.
· Five persons were killed in a bomb attack in Anambra State.
· Gunmen killed four Anambra vigilantes and bombed multiple buildings in Ihiala, Anambra.
·Kidnappers killed one police officer in Oredo, Edo.
· Troops killed two kidnappers in Toto, Nassarawa.
·Police officers killed five bandits in Magama, Niger State.
· Troops killed seven Indigenous People of Biafra members and arrested six others during operations conducted in Imo, Anambra, Abia and Enugu states.
· Gunmen attacked men of the Anambra Vigilante Service and killed four.
· Kaduna State Fire Service confirmed that an inferno killed four family members.
· Gunmen killed two members of a vigilance group in Delta State.
· Gunmen killed two vigilantes in Sapele, Delta.
· Troops killed “several” (est. at ten) ISWA militants in Damboa, Borno.
· DSP Michael Adams, who was involved in the rescue operation of a kidnapped President of Iruegben Area Customary Court, Mrs. Precious Aigbonoga, was reported dead.
· Ogundeji Ojo set his father’s house and died in the inferno.
· Kingsley Enageghe was arrested for allegedly shooting a guest at Queens Victory hotel in Lagos.
· 20 people lost their lives in both Ogun and Plateau states during road crashes.
· 16 supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau State lost their lives following a road accident in Mangu Local Government Area.
· 15 persons died in Lagos and Bauchi road crashes.
· Head of Lambata village in Gurara Local Government Area of Niger State, Mohammed Abdulfasur, was killed.
· 10 persons were feared dead and several others were injured in an auto crash on Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway in Abuja.
· Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service rescued one and recovered another dead from a fallen fuel tanker in Lagos.
· Reverend Father Isaac Achi of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Kaffin-Koro, Niger State was killed by bandits and his corpse was burnt in his room.
· The military killed two Boko Haram terrorists in Borno
·One Peter Abah was killed in a robbery attack in IgalaMela/Odolu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
· Noah, an 18-year-old boy died in Lagos after being allegedly poisoned by his friends.
·18 persons and 16 cows died in an accident in Kebbi State. Forty two others sustained injuries.
· Policeman detailed to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, office in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State was killed when suspected hoodlums set the facility ablaze.
·Three people were killed after suspected terrorists attacked Jajar Kanwa village, in Katsina State.
· Police killed a protester in Minna, Niger State.
·A yet-to-be-identified trader was shot by a policeman at the Alaba Rago Market, Lagos State.
· Ndiegoro neighbourhood in Aba South Local Government Area of Abia State was thrown into turmoil following a shootout between police and hoodlums, resulting in the death of a Police Inspector.
· Troops killed 10 bandits in Danmusa LGA, Katsina State
· A leader of a suspected gang of robbers in Delta State, Bobo Ononibe, was killed during an exchange of gunfire with police operatives.
·Mallam Zubairu died after a vehicle ran over him on the premises of Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH, Plateau State.
·Cult clash in Benin City, Edo State, claimed the lives of four persons around Erediauwa and Sakponba roads.
· Police in Abuja arrested 11 suspects in connection with the lynching of a man identified as Salihu, by a mob, which mistook him for a motorcycle thief in Anguwar Dodo, Gwagwalada Area Council.
· An unidentified car dealer was stabbed to death by suspected hoodlums on Ordnance Road, Trans-Amadi, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
·Police Inspector in Ndiegoro Divisional Headquarters, Aba, Abia State, reportedly died in a gun battle between policemen and gunmen.
·Six persons were killed as they attempted to foil the kidnapping of two persons in Zonkwa, Zangon Kataf, Kaduna State
·Police killed one armed robber and arrested another over the murder of keke rider in Delta
· Suspected armed herdsmen attacked an IDP camp in Abagena community, Benue killing eight including a family of six.