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Kaduna Bomb Attack: ACF seeks probe, compensation for victims

arewa consultative forum acf

The apex Northern socio-political and cultural organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has called for an immediate investigation into the drone attack on residents of Tudun Biri community, Afaka Ward, near Rigasa, in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Sunday.

ACF said even though the Nigerian Army has admitted responsibility for the attack, they were shocked to learn of the horrific incident and called for adequate compensation for those affected.
This is even as President Bola Tinubu has ordered a thorough investigation of the recent bomb mishap.

According to a release by his spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, the President sympathised with the families of victims, the people and government of Kaduna State over the unfortunate mishap.
Tinubu described the incident as very unfortunate, disturbing, and painful, expressing indignation and grief over the tragic loss of Nigerian lives.

However, the Northern body in a statement by Prof. Tukur Muhammad-Baba, its National Publicity Secretary, said it is disturbed that such an operation could be executed in a densely populated area, “suggesting an inexcusable, scandalous and plausibly incompetent failure of intelligence. It is indeed trite to say that sound intelligence is the fulcrum of military operations, While the army authorities have come out with the usual platitude of “investigating” the matter, there is a need to be more forthcoming on the details, even if to douse the feeling in many quarters that there was an initial attempt to downplay the incident except for the vigilance of some members of the public.”

On their part the Jam’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) in a statement said the attack portends danger to military-civilian relationship and wonders why due diligence was not carried out before an operation of such magnitude.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, General Taoreed Lagbaja, who visited the village to see things for himself yesterday, apologised to the community and donated N10 million for the victims of the attack.

However, the ACF, which prayed for quick recovery for those injured, insisted that efforts must be put in place to avert such avoidable loss of lives (and property), saying: “Communities in the northern states have enough problems with banditry to have to again worry about becoming hapless victims of the misbegotten strategies of those who should be helping to totally wipe out the scourge of banditry and terrorism.”

ACF said: “Full compensation must be paid for the dead in accordance with current Islamic diya value for individual lives.

“To restore confidence of the people, the Nigerian Army, must apologise to the people of the communities affected by the incident. Additionally, as a sign of good faith, the Nigerian Army should immediately undertake medical and other community rehabilitation outreach in the affected communities.”

In their own statement, JNI said such a “devastating incident is utterly antithetical to the principles of peace and unity that we, as a community, strive to uphold at this critical moment of the Nigerian nationhood, and the act portends danger, especially to military-civil relationship.

The statement, signed by Professor Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, JNI Secretary General, condemned the incident in its entirety and called for a thorough, impartial, and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the devastating and most unfortunate event.

However, shedding more light on the unfortunate attack, Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, Director Army Public Relations in a statement, said the COAS had expressed regrets on the unfortunate mishap, describing it as a very disheartening occurrence.

Speaking further, 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 started conducting operations to sanitise the area and make it habitable.

He pointed out that the troops were carrying out aerial surveillance when they observed a group of people and wrongly analysed 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 see 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.

The statement also said the District Head of Rigasa, Architect Aminu Idris, in his remarks during the visit of the COAS, said despite the enormity of the incident, the Nigerian Army showed integrity in accepting responsibility for the drone strike.

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