Informal security actors such as vigilantes play a variety of roles in African communities. Research has tended to focus on the negative impacts of informal security providers, including the perpetration of human rights violations, rather than on the essential roles these groups play in a community’s safety and security.
The study referenced in this report focused on Plateau, Kaduna, and Kano states in Nigeria. These states have long histories of ethnoreligious and political-related violence. A number of informal security actors are active in these states due to the high rate of violence. The study also considered Abuja because of the presence of informal security stakeholders in the nation’s capital city.