Nigeria is one of the most terrorised countries due to terrorist attacks and violent clashes. There have been many fatalities resulting from this violence, which started in the late 1960s and has significantly increased recently. Violence in Nigeria has been studied, but not about Nigeria’s mortality experience over time. This study described the patterns and trends of deaths related to violence in Nigeria over 16 years.
Secondary data on lethal violence across Nigeria spanning from 2006 to 2021 were drawn from the Nigeria Watch database, an online database of lethal violence in Nigeria. Univariate analysis of the data was conducted to map the trends, patterns and sources of lethal violence across Nigeria.
Nigeria recorded no fewer than 169 033 violent deaths between 2006 and 2021, with 2014 reporting the highest number (22, 873) and Borno State being the most affected, followed by Lagos, Kaduna, Zamfara, Plateau, Delta, Benue, Rivers and Adamawa. The highest number of deaths (51, 425) was attributed to crime, followed by insurgency (50, 252) and road crashes (27, 645). Other significant causes of death were political issues (8, 324) and cattle grazing (5, 501).
Violence-related mortality is prevalent in Nigeria and significantly contributes to adult mortality. The government must develop strategies to identify, intervene in and end high-risk conflict situations to stop the growing contribution of violence to Nigeria’s mortality experience.