Anger as military erroneously kill over 400 innocent Nigerians in six years


Last week’s erroneous bombing of a Kaduna community has brought to about 400, the number of Nigerians erroneously killed by security agencies while battling insurgents and bandits.

According to a report published in February 2023 by SBM Intelligence, a research organisation that compiles and analyses data, the Nigerian military erroneously killed over 300 innocent Nigerians between January 2017 to January 2023.

The misfiring incidents occurred mostly in the Northern part of the country where Boko Haram, Islamic State’s West Africa Province, ISWAP, insurgents and bandits are causing mayhem.

Newspot recalls some of the incidents below:



In January 2017, about 115 innocent Nigerians were killed when a Nigerian Air Force Jet mistakenly bombed an Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp near the Cameroonian border in Borno State.

In 2020, at least 17 women were also reportedly killed by the Nigerian Air Force in Sakotoku village, Damboa LG area of the state.

Similarly, in April 2021, Air Force jet, in a battle with Boko Haram, reportedly missed a target in Mainok, Borno State, killing at least 30 soldiers who were preparing to attack the insurgents in the area.

Niger State

In June 2021, an offensive aerial bombardment by the NAF Alpha reportedly killed some wedding guests around Genu town in Niger State.

On March 3, a NAF jet reportedly killed at least 12 persons in Kuregba, Shiroro LGA of Niger State.

Also, on January 23, 2023, an unspecified number of Special Hunters of the joint Security Task Force were reportedly killed in an airstrike that happened at Galadima Kogi, in Shiroro LGA of the state.


On July 12, 2021, the Nigerian Air Force mistakenly killed a woman and her four children around Suburb Forest in Zamfara State.

In December 2022, an airstrike by the NAF in Mutumji community, in Maru LG of the state mistakenly killed about 64 persons.


About 10 villagers were reportedly killed in September 2021 after a military jet reportedly bombed a village in the Yunusari LGA of Yobe State.


On January 7, 2023, the Nigerian Air Force claimed responsibility for a deadly airstrike on Kwatiri, a rural community in Nasarawa State, where about 39 unsuspecting citizens were bombed.

Newspot recalls that some political bigwigs in the North Central region traded blame on the identity of the attackers before the NAF owned up.


On Sunday last week, December 3, a deadly drone strike by the Nigerian Army killed scores of residents celebrating an Islamic festival, in Tudun Biri, Igabi Local Government Area of the state.

Although the Nigeria National Emergency Management Agency put the death toll at 85, there are reports that the casualty had surpassed 120.

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Kaduna State, Senator Shehu Sani, who was first to raise the alarm about the incident, had claimed that about 150 lives were lost in the unfortunate incident.

Newspot reports that the recent incident put the number of persons erroneously killed by the military since 2017 till date to above 400.

A controversial Islamic cleric in Kaduna, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi had alleged that the bomb incident was not a mistake as claimed by the army, stating that similar incidents have been occurring in remote villages unreported.

The cleric said if the first bomb that was dropped on the people was a mistake as claimed, what of the second bomb, which according to him, targeted those evacuating the bodies of the victims.

He said, “I kept telling you not to invite people who see war as a solution but people refused to listen. Here it is now. War is never a joke because it affects everybody. I warned you on this but you keep saying they should be killed.

“It’s you that will be killed. That bomb was meant to target the families of some people so as to kill their children and wives. I have been to a village where women and children were massacred in a remote forest.

“Many people have been bombed. Nobody said anything until it came nearer to the city. I have been saying that whatever is between us, whether it is bandits or Boko Haram, there should be peaceful negotiations.”

Speaking with Newspot on the incident, the National Coordinator of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko described the killing as “one accidental bombing too many”.

The rights group also urged the President Bola Tinubu government to carry out a thorough “investigation with a view to finding lasting solutions to these many accidental bombings of civilians”.

Onwubiko said, “We have called for an immediate, comprehensive and transparent investigation into the alleged bombardments.

“We want the investigators to ascertain why there have been many such accidental bombings of civilians in the country.

“We are demanding that the Federal government identify the victims and their direct families for purposes of adequate compensation.

“HURIWA is also asking the Nigerian military to put measures in place to avoid such a very unfortunate operational error, if it is what it is, so that civilians’ lives are always protected.”

Meanwhile, Vice President, Kashim Shettima had on Thursday hinted at plans by the Federal Government to rebuild Tudun Biri village which was hit by the misfire from the military drones.

According to the VP, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu directed that the Pullako Initiative should be kick-started in Kaduna State, with a complete package, including houses, clinics, schools, veterinary clinics, empowerment initiatives and solar energy, among others, as a way of compensation.

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