Kaduna Bombing: Tinubu Orders Probe as NEMA Confirms 85 Killed
By Adedapo Adesanya
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday ordered an investigation after the army acknowledged one of its drones accidentally struck Tudun Biri village as residents were celebrating a Muslim festival.
The army did not give any casualty figures, but residents claimed 85 of them, who were mainly women and children, died in the attack, which has sparked public outrage.
On its part, Amnesty International’s Nigeria office said 120 people were killed in the attack, citing reports of its workers and volunteers in the area.
But the North-West zonal spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mrs Halima Suleiman, confirmed that 85 persons were killed in the air strike by the Nigerian Army at Tudun Biri village in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, in one of the country’s deadliest military bombing accidents.
She revealed that 66 other victims were also injured in Sunday’s bombing, noting that the fatality figure was gotten from the local authorities after the burial of the victims on Monday.
“The Northwest Zonal Office has received details from the local authorities that 85 dead bodies have so far been buried while a search is still ongoing,” NEMA said.
However, emergency officials were still negotiating with community leaders to calm tensions to be able to reach the village.
The incident has attracted the attention of Mr Tinubu, whose spokesman, Mr Ajuri Ngelale, said in a statement described the attack “as very unfortunate, disturbing, and painful, expressing indignation and grief over the tragic loss of Nigerian lives.”
Also, Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State has ordered a full investigation into Sunday’s incident, reassuring the citizens that their security and protection will be prioritised in the sustained fight against terrorists, bandits, and other criminal elements.
In a statement issued to commiserate with the people of the Tudun Biri community over the tragic incident, the governor said his administration is determined to prevent a repeat.
While directing the immediate evacuation of the injured to the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital for emergency medical attention, the governor disclosed that the Kaduna State Government will be responsible for their treatment and related logistics.
He, however, appealed to the affected community and all citizens of the state to be calm and continue to support the security forces and the state government in the battle against terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, and other criminal elements in the state.
Nigeria’s armed forces often rely on air strikes in their battle against so-called bandit militias in the northwest and northeast of the country, where jihadists have been fighting for more than a decade.
However, in the course of these strikes, there have been cases of civilian casualties without all government probes resulting in no convictions.