Conflict Bulletin:
Ondo State - Patterns and Trends, 2012-2014

Published May 8, 2015
By Nate Haken and Patricia Taft*
Nigeria Conflict Bulletins
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Ondo state has a population of approximately 3.44 million according to the most recent census (2006). The majority are of Yoruba descent, with a sizable minority of those from Ijaw subgroups, particularly along the coast. Ondo derives most of its revenue from the production of cocoa, palm oil, rubber, lumber, and cassava. Approximately 65% of the labor force is employed in the agrarian sector. The state is also rich in oil and minerals.

Violence in Ondo has historically been relatively low in comparison to the other Niger Delta states according to Nigeria Watch data.

After the 2012 gubernatorial election, in which Olusegun Mimiko was re-elected, the losing party raised concerns about alleged election irregularities and intimidation. The next gubernatorial elections are slated for 2016.

In early 2014, most incidents in Ondo State involved domestic and interpersonal violence. In May, a clash between rival cult groups reportedly left one person dead. Overall, much of the violence in Ondo state was related to instances of petty crime and kidnappings.
This Conflict Bulletin provides a brief snapshot of the trends and patterns of conflict risk factors at the State and LGA levels, drawing on relevant data made available from the P4P Digital Platform for Multi-Stakeholder Engagement ( It represents a compilation of the data from sources listed below, not necessarily opinions of FFP or any other organization that collaborated on the production of this bulletin.

The screenshot of the heat map on this page shows the relative geographic distribution of incidents between 2012 and 2014. The bar chart shows the relative violence from one Niger Delta state to the next. The trend-line on the next page shows the number of incidents and fatalities over time. The second bar chart shows the trend of incidents of insecurity by LGA per capita. The summaries draw on data collected by FFP’s UNLocK, the Council on Foreign Relations’ NST, WANEP Nigeria, CSS/ETH Zurich, NEEWS/TMG, Nigeria Watch, and ACLED integrated on the P4P platform. They also draw on data and information from “Violence in Nigeria: Patterns and Trends,” by Patricia Taft and Nate Haken (Springer Press, April 2015).

LGA Level Summary

Akure North/South
(Ondo Central Senatorial District)

During the second half of 2012, violence sometimes had a political dimension in the context of a hotly contested gubernatorial election in October. Both the Action Congress of Nigeria and the People’s Democratic Party filed appeals contesting the outcome, however the Supreme Court ruled that the election was valid. Gang violence in Akure increased around the time of the election and continued throughout 2013. The Ade Basket Boys are reportedly among the more active gangs in Akure and are believed to have been involved in riots leading up to the election as well as various criminal activities including armed robbery.

Between March and May of 2012, eight prominent people were reportedly kidnapped for ransom in Akure, including family members of politicians and government officials, a journalist, and a businessman.

In the summer of 2013, there was a prison break in Akure when gang members freed an estimated 175 prisoners and fatally shot two civilians. That same week, Nigerian Immigration Services arrested and deported 147 allegedly illegal immigrants from Niger and Chad. State Comptroller Mr. Sola Sessi stated that the presence of those immigrants in Ondo presented a threat to state security and said similar operations would continue. In the second half of 2013, students at the Federal University of Technology Akure staged at least two protests. One protest was in response to the alleged rape of three female students. The other demonstration was in protest of a teacher strike.

In May 2014, the body of an 8-year old girl was found outside a shopping mall, assumed to be killed by ritualists. Crimes with suspected political motives also occurred early this year, with an attempted assassination of an Ondo lawmaker, and the shooting of one person at an Ondo APC meeting in January. Other reported issues included several murders, a peaceful protest by nurses over an alleged assault, and police corruption.

Incidents that occurred in the latter half of 2014 appeared to have no political motivation. In July 2014, a student was allegedly tortured and put into police custody for stealing a handset. He later died from his injuries. In August, a woman was arrested for reportedly killing her boyfriend. Four policemen were shot and killed in two separate incidents involving armed robbers.

(Ondo Central Senatorial District)

Incidents in Idanre related mainly to interpersonal violence, although in October 2012 there was a report of political intimidation by “thugs” who chased away voters.

Ondo E/W
(Ondo Central Senatorial District)

In 2013 the son of a union leader was reportedly killed. No motive was immediately established for the killing. Two peaceful protests occurred in 2014, one by electrical workers over reported non-payment of salaries and another by the Nigerian Union of Teachers over the Boko Haram insurgency in the North. In May, a woman suspected of trying to kidnap a child was lynched by a mob. A member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers was killed in July. At least two cult clashes resulting in fatalities were reported during the year.

(Ondo South Senatorial District)

In addition to several incidents of interpersonal violence resulting in fatalities, there was also some criminal violence. A woman was kidnapped and murdered in 2014. Also in 2014, military forces reportedly shot six and killed two when residents who were not complying with an environmental order resisted arrest.

(Ondo South Senatorial District)

In 2012, violent incidents reported in Odigbo LGA mainly concerned an alleged ritualistic killing of a crippled man and the murder of the owner of a cocoa farm, in an incident suspected to be related to land competition. In August 2013, police reportedly shot a commercial truck driver and were subsequently arrested. In May of 2014, a woman was beaten to death and set ablaze by two brothers.

Other LGAs

In other LGAs throughout 2012-2014, incidents reported included ritual murders by suspected cultists as well as bank robberies reportedly committed by organized criminal syndicates, particularly in Akoko Northeast. In Ilaje in 2012, there was a reported clash between ex-militants and naval officers that allegedly resulted in the death of several people.

In 2013, vandals allegedly torched the palace of the monarch Oba Afolabi Odidiomo and the house of a local chief. One person was reported to have died during the incident.

In January 2014 in Akoko Southwest, gunmen reportedly kidnapped expatriates. Additional killings throughout the year in the area occurred over family and intra-community disputes. In Ese-Odo, seven people were allegedly killed in a clash between pirates and men of a private security outfit in August. Four personnel of the security outfit and 3 pirates were also reported killed during the clash. In October, in Irele, gunmen kidnapped the former Ondo Council Boss and demanded N20m in ransom.

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* Hannah Blyth contributed to this report.