The Nigerian army has mistakenly bombed Nigeriasn village celebrants of Maulud in a village at Kaduna state of the country.
According to reports, numerous villagers in Tudun Biri of the Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State are feared dead after a bomb was allegedly dropped by a jet during a Maulud celebration.
Daily Trust reports that about thirty people lost their lives in the incident which occurred on Sunday, 4th bof December 2023 around 9pm. But Channel Television put the figure at eighty.
Residents said the bomb exploded during a gathering to commemorate Maulud in the village.
Statement from Daily Trust also said the Overseeing Commissioner of the State Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, declined to disclose casualty numbers when approached for comment.
Aruwan mentioned that the government intends to release the information during a press conference at the Government House.
“We will address the press at Government House on the situation because there would be a security meeting later. So, let’s meet by 10am,” Aruwan told Daily Trust.
Nevertheless, a report that came out later from the Nigerian Army stated that the incident is a mistake from them.
According to the Chief of Army Staff, the troops were carrying out aerial patrols when they observed a group of people wrongly analyzed and misinterpreted to be bandits.
However, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, on Tuesday, paid a condolence visit to Tudun Biri community in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State which was affected by the airstrike which claimed dozens of lives.
According to the statement, Lagbaja mentioned that the troops were carrying out aerial patrols when they observed a group of people wrongly analyzed and misinterpreted to be bandits, before the drone strike. He expressed sincere regrets and apologised on behalf of the Nigerian Army to the people of the community.
The statement read, “The Army Chief arrived the community in the early hours of Tuesday, December 5 2023, accompanied by Principal Staff Officers from the Army Headquarters and the General Officer Commanding 1 Division, where he met with the Dangaladima Zazau, the District Head of Rigasa, Architect Aminu Idris, other leaders and members of the community.
“The COAS in an emotion laden speech expressed regrets on the unfortunate mishap, describing it as a very disheartening occurrence. Gen. Lagbaja noted that in the recent past, the general area of Tudun Biri and adjoining villages were infested with armed bandits, who terrorised the communities, until troops of the Nigerian Army started conducting operations to sanitize the area and make it habitable.
“He pointed out, that the troops were carrying out aerial patrols when they observed a group of people and wrongly analyzed and misinterpreted their pattern of activities to be similar to that of the bandits, before the drone strike.
“The COAS stated that he was in Tudun Biri to personally witness the site of the mishap and to convey sincere regrets and unreserved apologies on behalf of the Nigerian Army to the District Head and people of the community, as well as the government and entire people of Kaduna State.
“He disclosed that he has ordered a thorough inquiry into the incident to ascertain and identify areas of deficiency that led to the inadvertent disaster, adding that the findings and overarching outcome of the investigation will guide the NA in meticulously and professionally seeking and applying lasting solutions to identified lapses and deficiencies in both the human and Artificial Intelligence variables that will forestall future recurrence.
“The Chief of Army Staff equally visited affected victims at the Barua Dikko Teaching Hospital Anguwan Rimi, Kaduna, where he expressed concern for the speedy recuperation of the hospitalized persons and made an immediate donation of several provisions for their upkeep.”
The statement further read that the District Head of Rigasa, Aminu Idris, said despite the enormity of the incident, the Nigerian Army showed integrity in accepting responsibility for the drone strike and urged its leadership to intervene in bringing succour to hospitalized victims and the community for their losses.
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