Conflict Bulletin:
Ondo State - Patterns and Trends, 2012-2015

Published August 21, 2015
By Nate Haken and Patricia Taft*
Nigeria Conflict Bulletins
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While violence in Ondo has historically been relatively low, in the first half of 2015 reported fatalities increased significantly as compared to previous years. This was mainly in connection to a few incidents of criminality (bank robberies in Owo and Akoko North West LGAs) and piracy (Ilaje LGA) that killed dozens. Other issues, reported in Ondo included political tensions and cult violence.

After the 2012 gubernatorial election, in which Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party (LP) was re-elected, the losing parties raised concerns about alleged election irregularities and intimidation. In 2014, Mimiko left the LP to join the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The next gubernatorial elections are scheduled for 2016.

This Conflict Bulletin provides a brief snapshot of the trends and patterns of conflict risk factors at the State and LGA levels, drawing on the data available on the P4P Digital Platform for Multi-Stakeholder Engagement (www.p4p-nigerdelta.org). It represents a compilation of the data from the sources listed below, not necessarily the 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 distribution of incidents from one LGA to the next from January 2012 to June 2015. The trendline on the next page shows the number of incidents and fatalities over time. The bar chart shows the relative trend of incidents of insecurity by LGA per capita.

The summaries draw on data collected by ACLED, FFP’s UNLocK, the Council on Foreign Relations’ NST, WANEP Nigeria, CSS/ETH Zurich, NEEWS2015, and Nigeria Watch 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).

Akure North/South
(Ondo Central Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Political Violence
> Kidnapping
> Protests

In January and February of 2015, several were killed on their farms. Protests in the first half of the year—some of which were political and others protesting fuel shortages, were generally nonviolent. In April of 2015, political tensions were elevated surrounding the State Assembly elections. “Political thugs” reportedly opened fire and stole ballot boxes. After the election, youths protested the Deputy Governor’s defection in March from PDP to APC. The ex-Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Akure was murdered after a week-long abduction. Other incidents related to sexual violence and criminality.

In 2014, crimes with suspected political motives also occurred, including 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, and a peaceful protest by nurses over an alleged assault. In July 2014, a student was allegedly tortured and put into police custody for stealing a handset. He later died from his injuries. Four policemen were shot and killed in two separate incidents involving armed robbers.

In June 2013, gang members freed an estimated 175 prisoners and fatally shot two civilians in a prison break. 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 lecturers’ strike.

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. 2012 violence sometimes had a political dimension in the context of a hotly contested gubernatorial election in October. Both the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the PDP 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 were 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.

Idanre
(Ondo Central Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Political Tensions
> Criminality

In January of 2015, policemen killed four armed robbers who were reported to have killed policemen in the previous year. In April of 2015, “political thugs” were reported to have forcefully taken over polling booths during elections.

Violence reported in 2013 and 2014 mainly related to interpersonal conflict issues and criminality.

In October 2012, in the context of a hotly contested gubernatorial election, there was a report of political intimidation by “thugs” who chased away voters.

Odigbo
(Ondo South Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Political Tensions
> Criminality/Domestic Violence

In the first half of 2015, a 40-year-old man was found to have been abused and murdered, and in April, voters were intimidated and harassed by political thugs, who also stormed the house of a prominent local politician during the State Assembly elections.

From 2012-2014, incidents mainly had to do with interpersonal, criminal, and domestic conflict issues. Although in 2012 there was a murder of the owner of a cocoa farm, in an incident suspected to be related to land competition.

Okitipupa
(Ondo South Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Political Tensions
> Domestic and Interpersonal Violence

In April of 2015, political violence was reported involving “political thugs” during the State Assembly elections.

From 2012-2014, incidents mainly had to do with interpersonal, criminal, and domestic violence. Although there was one incident in October 2014, when several people were shot by security forces for not complying during the monthly environmental sanitation exercise and resisting arrest.

Ondo East/West
(Ondo Central Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Cult Violence
> Criminality/Domestic Violence

In the first two months of 2015, in addition to the murder of a commercial motorcyclist, one man was shot in a clash between rival cult groups.

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.

In 2013 the son of a union leader was reportedly killed. No motive was immediately established for the killing.

Other LGAs

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Political Tensions
> Cult Violence
> Piracy
> Intra-Communal Violence

In the first half of 2015, over a dozen were reportedly killed in a bank robbery in Akoko North West and in Owo LGA. In the April, State Assembly election, political violence was reported in Ese-Odo, Ifedore, and Ilaje LGAs, including shootings, stealing ballot boxes, and attacks on prominent politicians. Cult killings took place in Ese-Odo, as well as the killing of over a dozen suspected pirates in a clash with soldiers in March in Ilaje. In June of 2015, six people were murdered in a clash between two prominent families over the abduction of an errand boy in Ese-Odo.

 
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* Hannah Blyth contributed to this report.
 

 
 

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