Residents Troop Out Of North-Central Nigerian Community After Vigilante Group Depletes From Airstrike

Residents of the community have before now relied on the protection of the vigilante group to continue to live there and conduct their affairs. Following an airstrike that took out up to 30 members of the vigilante group, they are left vulnerable and have begun to flee the community.

Residents from the Galadiman Kogo area of Niger state in North-central Nigeria have been deserting the community in their numbers in the past few days. This is due to a recent explosion that killed 30 members of a vigilante group which has been providing security to the community.

The explosion, which occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 24, is believed to have come from an Airforce fighter jet patrolling the area. Residents told local papers that the explosion occurred as members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) patrolled the area, and that the jet may have mistaken them for terrorists.

Shiroro local government area, where Galadiman Kogo is under, is one of the worst affected areas in the state since the insurgency and terrorism started to find their way to the state years ago. It and Munya LGAs continue to battle attacks and the resultant displacement.

Asides from attacks from the terrorists, however, the LGA has not been spared from airstrikes from the military intended for terrorists. Last year in April, an airstrike reportedly killed six children in Kurebe community of Shiroro LGA. According to the Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA) spokesperson, the children had been returning from a motorised borehole where they had gone to fetch water when the bomb hit them.

However, this time, the airstrike in Galadiman Kogo (also known as Galko), less than 50km from Kurebe, took out members of a local security outfit, making the community even more vulnerable than it used to be, and spurring dwellers to feel unsafe and migrate from the village. Before the airstrike, they had been enjoying the protection of the vigilante group, despite the attacks suffered early last year.

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Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu

Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu is the Managing Editor at HumAngle. She researches and investigates terrorism & insurgency and its human cost and aftermath, particularly how they affect transitional justice issues, displacement, migration, and women. She is a 2023 Pulitzer Centre grantee, a 2023 International Women Media Fund awardee, and a 2022 Storify Africa fellow, among several others.

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