‘Recurring Accidental Killings of Civilians By Nigerian Military Due To Poor Intelligence, Coordination
Army chief visits Tudun Biri over the drone attack

Recurring Accidental Killings of Civilians By Nigerian Military Due To Poor Intelligence, Coordination – Rafsanjani

6 months ago
4 mins read

The killing of over 80 civilians at Tudun Biri village in the Igabi local government area of Kaduna State by Nigerian military aircraft on Sunday, has continued to generate reactions across the country.

The military on Monday admitted responsibility for the tragic incident that affected a crowd of people in the centre of a village on Sunday night.

Kaduna governor Uba Sani said Muslims taking part in Maulud celebrations in Tudun Biri village “were mistakenly killed and many others injured following a military drone attack targeting terrorists and bandits.”

According to the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, the General Officer Commanding 1 Division, Nigerian Army, and Force Commander Operation, Maj-Gen VU Okoro, admitted that the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists when the incident happened.

Prime Business Africa reports that the Nigerian military has been conducting aerial bombardment of perceived enclaves of bandits and terrorists who terrorize parts of Northern Nigeria.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja on Tuesday, visited Tudun Biri village to commiserate with the affected families.

Lagbaja, who apologised to members of the community for the incident, donated N10 million for the upkeep of those receiving treatment.

He explained that the incident occurred while the soldiers were conducting armed reconnaissance along Riyawa and Rimawa villages where the movement of suspected bandits was observed.

Reacting to the incident, Executive Director, the Centre for Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said the reason for the recurring erroneous bombings of civilians was due to poor intelligence, lack of coordination and patriotism on the part of security agencies in the country.

‘Recurring Nigerian Military Accidental Killings of Civilians Due To Poor Intelligence, Coordination -Rafsanjani
Executive Director, Centre for Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani

He said if other relevant security agencies are effective in discharging their duties, there would be no need to bring in the army into internal security matters in parts of the country.

Rafsanjani observed that such an incident has continued to occur without the security agencies taking concrete steps to prevent it, adding that it is because there are no consequences for such operational failures that lead to a tragic loss of human lives.

“The military should do everything possible to ensure proper coordination. I want to believe that Nigerian security should be able to come up with a better approach to address the lack of coordination. Most of the rivalries that you find in most of these agencies is making it difficult to differentiate the insurgents, terrorists or bandits or the criminal.”

READ ALSO: NAF Denies Striking Kaduna Village After HURIWA Recounts Previous Accidental Bombings

He continued: “There is diminishing patriotism in the service. It is more about material acquisition before they go into operation. Otherwise, you have DSS, the army, the air force, the Navy, and other security agencies that are supposed to be working hand in hand to ensure that the country is safe, the people are safe the civilians are protected, but we don’t really see that coordination, and that is why the criminals are finding their way easily.

“I think it is important that if we are really genuinely, concerned about protecting the civilians in this kind of conflict, we should have learned from what happened in the previous attack or the previous incidents.”

He called on the security agencies to show sincerity and take adequate measures to ensure that the citizens are protected.

Rafsanjani urged security agencies to acquire modern equipment for operations to reduce collateral damage.

“The absence or the collapse of intelligence gathering in Nigeria is one of the major challenges why we are not able to tackle it and I don’t know whether it is intentional.”

He said there is a need to intensify intelligence gathering by relevant security agencies, adding that the military can only step in when it has to do with external aggression.

“If you have effective and efficient as well as coordinated security agencies that are empowered to do the work, I want to believe that the army may not necessarily always be there in this kind of attack, because the police should have done a very good work, the DSS will have been able to do a lot of work and other relevant security agencies that are there.

“You don’t need to always bring in army or air force to be bombing, because you have other security agencies, that would have done this thing in a manner that will minimize causality. Soldiers are not known to be dealing with internal challenge, they are known for dealing with external aggression unless there is overwhelming evidence to show that security agencies are incapable of carrying out their responsibilities.”

He queried why there has not been any form of probe on reports of arms diversion within security agencies.

He called for good cooperation between communities and security agencies to share useful intelligence that would help in tackling insecurity.

Also reacting to the incident former Kaduna lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani the matter should not be treated with levity by the security agencies because of the sanctity of human lives.

In a statement posted on his X account on Tuesday, Sani wrote: “Dropping bombs in a crowd of people in the centre of a village is a horrible and costly ‘mistake’ that must not be taken lightly. The sanctity of human lives must be of the highest consideration in any military operation.

“It makes no sense to massacre the people you want to protect. The orphans, Widows and widowers left behind by the Army bombing of the Kaduna village must not be left to suffer in the course of their lives. This tragic incident must not repeat itself.”

Tinubu Mourns Victims, Calls For Thorough Investigation

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu has condoled with the Kaduna State government and families affected by the incident.

Tinubu in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, described the incident as “very unfortunate, disturbing, and painful,” and expressed indignation and grief over the tragic loss of Nigerian lives.

The president, who called for calm, directed relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

“The President also directs swift and comprehensive medical attention for surviving victims while praying for the repose of the souls of the deceased,” Ngelale stated.


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