Skip to main content
Last update: October 2021

Adamawa state is composed of 21 LGAs and its capital is Yola. The state’s estimated population was 4 248 436 in 2016. Adamawa is the home of a large number of Christians, forming the largest minority religion in the predominantly Muslim state.

In 2018, the rapid growth of ethnic militias armed with illegal weapons led to an escalation of the herder-farmer conflict. Adamawa state has been affected by communal violence and it has been one of the states most affected by Boko Haram. Actors in Adamawa state include unidentified armed groups, Boko Haram/ISWAP, ethnic militias from various ethnic groups, herders and farmers, and a radical cult group involved in robberies called the Shilla boys. In addition, vigilante groups fighting against Boko Haram are also present in the state, the largest of which is the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF). Government forces continue to carry out offensive/counter-operations and maintain a high level of alertness following non-state armed groups activities and clashes across LGAs. A special police taskforce to curb the Shilla boys was also created.

A significant increase in the threats of attacks on both civilian and military locations and convoys across the state was reported in 2020. However, Adamawa state continues to witness different forms of conflict, including non-state armed groups’ attacks and clashes with government forces, particularly in Michika and Madagali LGAs, and communal clashes across Numan, Demsa, Guyuk, and Lamurde LGAs.  The security situation in these areas during January - August 2020 was described as unpredictable and volatile. Fatalities were recorded during security incidents related to herder-farmers conflict and during communal clashes. Furthermore, in the beginning of 2020, the number of attacks by Boko Haram increased. Security incidents attributed to Boko Haram included attacks and looting of villages, killings of villagers, abductions of residents and destruction of civilian properties, resulting in hundreds of civilians fleeing into the mountains. Christian communities have been heavily attacked by Boko Haram and many residents have fled the area. Boko Haram has also clashed with Nigerian military forces and local vigilantes, supported by NAF airstrikes. In addition, cases of abduction/kidnapping were becoming rampant in the state, especially within Yola metropolis.

There have been reports of incidents involving both civilian and military casualties from landmines and a range of other locally produced explosive devices planted by Boko Haram in the north-east of the country, particularly in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states. Kidnappings have occurred in some roads of the state. 

During 2020, ACLED reported a total of 49 security incidents (16 battles, 28 cases of violence against civilians, 5 incidents of riots) in Adamawa state (average of 0.9 security incidents per week). Security incidents took place in 17 out of 21 LGAs, with the largest overall number (9) being recorded in the LGA of Yola North.

The abovementioned security incidents resulted in 87 deaths. Compared to the estimated population in the state, this represents 2 fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants.

From 1 January to 30 April 2021, ACLED reported a total of 6 security incidents (2 battles, 2 cases of violence against civilians, 2 incidents of riots) in Adamawa state (average of 0.4 security incidents per week). These security incidents resulted in 23 deaths.

The total number of IDPs for Adamawa by November 2020 was 209 252. Adamawa had the second highest number of IDPs after Borno in north-eastern Nigeria. Of the IDPs in North East Region, 89 % were displaced within their state of origin. The total number of returnees to Adamawa state by November 2020 was 820 734.

The humanitarian crisis in the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe has been described as among the world’s most severe.


Looking at the indicators, it can be concluded that indiscriminate violence is taking place in the state of Adamawa, however not at a high level. Accordingly, a higher level of individual elements is required in order to show substantial grounds for believing that a civilian, returned to the territory, would face a real risk of serious harm within the meaning of Article 15(c) QD.
Main COI reference: Security situation 2021, 2.8