In the wake of Monday’s MI 171 Airforce Helicopter crash in the Chukuba communities of Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA), Niger State, residents are fleeing their homes due to the extensive deployment of troops and equipment by the army.
The helicopter had been carrying casualties of a bandit ambush on soldiers in Zenguru, Wushishi LGA, ultimately crashing in Chukuba, Shiroro LGA.
Tragically, at least 21 soldiers and officers lost their lives, while more than 50 bandits were reportedly eliminated during the Sunday ambush.
The predominantly farming and fishing villagers are now seeking refuge in nearby communities such as Erena, Gwada, and Zumba, fearing for their safety.
Akilu Ishaku, Chairman of Shiroro LGA, shared insights with journalists, noting that the villagers were fleeing the region due to safety concerns.
Ishaku revealed, “The villagers claimed they saw flame from a distance and saw that it was a helicopter that was on fire.”
While the exact ownership of the aircraft remains unclear, the crash occurred in Badna village under Kwaki Chukuba ward.
Reports indicate that the deployment of significant military personnel and equipment is underway in the strife-torn areas of Zungeru in Wushishi and Shiroro LGAs, fostering heightened unease among local residents.
The influx of military presence has prompted panic within the communities, compelling villagers to seek safer grounds both within their state and neighboring LGAs.
Abandoning their ancestral homes, farmers and fishermen now face the daunting prospect of resettling in unfamiliar lands where agricultural and fishing activities may be compromised. Concerns loom over potential disruptions to farming and anticipated bumper harvests from the area.
A fleeing villager, Abubakar Kuta, emphasized,”the farmers and fishermen have vowed not to return to their villages without concrete assurances from the government that they will be saved.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has officially confirmed the loss of soldiers during a bandit ambush on Sunday night, which occurred as troops engaged in an operation to halt bandit attacks on local communities in the region.
The soldiers are hailed for their courage and resilience, defending the nation until the end.
While the Chief of Army Staff is touring the North West Operations theater, the focus remains on consoling the families of the fallen and reinforcing ongoing operations
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