Home Politics HOW NIGERIAN ARMY WASTED DOZENS OF LIVES IN KADUNA COMMUNITY

HOW NIGERIAN ARMY WASTED DOZENS OF LIVES IN KADUNA COMMUNITY

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Palpable fear and uncertainty has continued to linger over the people of Rigasa community and environs where security forces last Saturday, December 3, 2023 where security forces allegedly killed more than thirty persons, mostly peasant civilians including women and children.

Early reports had alleged that the attacks had been carried out by a detachment of the Nigerian Air Force. In a swift reaction however, Edward Gabkwet, Air Commodore and
Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, via a press statement dated that very Sunday, December 3, 2023, denied the involvement of the Air Force in the incident.

The release read, “The news making the rounds aledging (sic) that Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft accidentally killed innocent civilians in Kaduna is false. Please be informed that the NAF has not carried out any air operations within Kaduna State and environs in the last 24 hours. Also, note that the NAF is not the only organization operating combat armed drones in the North western region of Nigeria.

It is also important to ensure that due diligence is always exhausted by the media before going to press with unverified and unconfirmed reports.”

The Kaduna State government quickly waded into the incident to douse rising tension across the State. A statement by Mr. Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner for Internal Security, stated that the State government had, as a result of the incident, quickly summoned a top notch security meeting presided over by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe.

Heads of security agencies who attended the meeting include the Commissioner of Police, MY Garba, and Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Abdul Eneche. The Chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of Jam’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) Professor Shafi’u Abdullahi, led other religious leaders to the meeting. Also present at the meeting was the District Head of Rigasa, Alhaji Aminu Idris in whose domain the incident had occurred.
At the meeting, the Nigerian Army had explained the circumstances which led to the unfortunate and unintended attack.

According to Aruwan, the General Officer Commanding One Division, Nigerian Army, Major V.U Okoro, had explained that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists but that unfortunately, the operation inadvertently affected members of the community.

The Deputy Governor conveyed the condolences of the Government and People of Kaduna State to the families that lost their loved ones, and prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls.

As at the time of filing this report, search-and-rescue efforts are still ongoing, as dozens of injured victims have been evacuated to Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital by the Government.

When Verbatim magazine visited the area, Monday December 5, a mournful atmosphere prevailed over the area. Several of the affected civilians lamented the destruction of their homes and other property. They pleaded to the State government to come to their aid so as to ameliorate their suffering.

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