By Linus Aleke, Abuja
The Nigerian Army (NA), has tendered unreserved apologies to the Kaduna State Government and families of victims of Sunday’s unfortunate bombing, which claimed the lives of no fewer than 30 civilians.
The Service also commiserated with the District Head of the Tudun Biri community and the families of the victims of the bombing.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja tendered the apology when he paid a condolence visit to the Tudun Biri community in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The Army Chief, who arrived at the community in the early hours of Tuesday 5 December 2023, accompanied by Principal Staff Officers from the Army Headquarters and the General Officer Commanding 1 Division, met with the Dangaladima Zazau, the District Head of Rigasa, Architect Aminu Idris, other leaders and members of the community.
The COAS said: “I am 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 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.
Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement, said the District Head of Rigasa, Architect 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.
He maintained that the community is a mixed community of both Muslims and Christians and that the victims are of both faiths, contrary to earlier insinuation that the community is solely Muslim.
General Lagbaja also commiserated with the Chairman Jamaa’ atu Nasru Islam, Kaduna State Prof
Shafiu Abdullahi and other clerics.
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.