FACT-CHECK: Omokri compares Nigeria’s ranking on terrorism under Jonathan and Buhari. How correct is he?

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CLAIM: Remo Omokri, a former aide to Former President Goodluck Jonathan said in an interview with Arise TV that Nigeria ranked better on the Global Terrorism Index, under former President Jonathan than it ranked under President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said Nigeria was 4th on the Index under Jonathan and 3rd under Buhari.



Omokri, who appeared on Arise TV on August 9th made a case for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) particularly his former principal, on Nigeria’s perennial insecurity. He argued that insecurity had worsened under President Buhari. The Twitter sensationalist quoted the Global Terrorism Index as the basis for his argument.

His words: “Let us focus on the fact. Neither the APC nor the PDP is in the position to judge about security. There is one global body that has the authority and it is an international body- the Global Terrorism Index. The Global Terrorism Index has said under PDP government of the former President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria was the 4th most insecure country in the world. However, under this administration, it is now worse, we are the 3rd most insecure country in the world. That would say a lot.”


The Global Terrorism Index is a report analyzing and ranking the impact of terrorism in 163 countries of the world. It is produced annually by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), using data from Terrorism Tracker and other sources.

The GTI defines terrorism as “the systematic threat or use of violence whether for or in opposition to established authority, with the intention of communicating a political, religious or ideological message to a group larger than the victim group, by generating fear and so altering (or attempting to alter) the behaviour of the larger group”.

By this definition, not all violent crimes are covered in the GTI. Groups considered terrorist groups in Nigeria include Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and Fulani Militants.

In 2011, the year Jonathan was sworn in as President, Nigeria ranked 6th; in 2012, it slid to 4th, and maintained the same position in 2013. In 2014, Nigeria ranked 3rd on the impact of terrorism. In that year, Nigeria accounted for 23% of deaths by terrorism, only second to Iraq which recorded the highest number of deaths by terrorism and accounted for 30.4%.

Read also: FACT-CHECK: Did Tinubu promise to extend sharia rule to Southern Nigeria?

According to the GTI report which was published in 2015, “In 2014 Nigeria experienced the biggest yearly deterioration in terrorism on record. There were 5,662 more people killed from terrorism in 2014 than in 2013, an increase of almost 300 per cent.”

It was also added that in 2014, Boko Haram was the world’s deadliest terrorist group. The group is currently mostly displaced, while its status has been taken over by the Islamic State.

Nigeria maintained the 3rd spot until 2020, when it ranked 4th. It went two steps down in 2021 and ranked 6th.

Under Jonathan’s administration (2011 – 2015), Nigeria’s terrorism impact deteriorated, as the country moved from 6th to 4th and then to 3rd. In the first five years of Buhari’s administration, Nigeria remained in the 3rd position until 2020 when it ranked 4th. In the 2021 ranking published earlier this year, the country moved two places ranking 6th, its best position on the index since 2011.


Omokri’s claim is false as Nigeria moved from 4th to 3rd while Jonathan was still President. Under Buhari, Nigeria remained in the same position until the last two rankings, where it improved to 4th and 6th respectively. Nigeria’s current position on the GTI is 6th.

By Odeyinka Oluwatobi…

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