It’s totally unacceptable – Outrage as Nigerian Army mistakenly bombs ‘150’ villagers celebrating Maulud in Kaduna

There was widespread anger across the country on Monday following the accidental bombing of Tudun Biri in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State by the Nigerian Army on Sunday, leading to the death of several villagers.

It was gathered that residents were celebrating Maulud, an Islamic event when the bombs were dropped by the military, who mistook the villagers for terrorists.

A fresh statement from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) stated that, based on information from the local authorities, 85 dead bodies have been buried thus far, and the search is still ongoing.

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It was learned that while the event attendees were trying to rescue and take the injured to a nearby health facility and the dead for burial, the aircraft returned and dropped a second bomb, causing further damage in the village.

The development had triggered widespread condemnation from both local and international communities.

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A statement by the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed that the Army claimed responsibility for the airstrike.

While NEMA had claimed the the casualties of the incident was about 85, Senator Shehu Sani who was first to raise the alarm about the incident, stated that the airstrike killed about 150 persons.

In a post on his official X handle, the former Kaduna lawmaker revealed that the victims include both women and children.

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain described the unfortunate incident as horrendous, saying it was a mass murder.

Sani wrote, “150 innocent civilians, including women & children, bombed to death by their own Army in Kaduna today.

“This is horrendous. It is mass murder & genocide & those behind it must be brought to justice.”

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Also reacting, Bashir Ahmed, former media aide to the immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari questioned how the army would “kill 126 innocent souls” by mistake.

On his X account, Bashir wrote, “Haba! You can’t kill 126 innocent souls— a hundred and twenty-six civilians, and just call it a mistake. I can’t even remember a time when the troops killed such a number of terrorists anywhere in this country at once.

“@HQNigerianArmy Nigerians are waiting to hear from you how this ‘mistake’ will be corrected and what measures you’d put in place to prevent a recurrence”.

Reacting to the bombing, the Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN) Kaduna State chapter in a statement by its chairman, Rev. John Hayab, said: “The situation occurred when the Nigerian Army was on a routine mission against terrorists but inadvertently affected members of the community leaving several citizens dead and many others injured.

“CAN wishes to commiserate with the Muslim Ummah as many of the affected were said to be celebrating the Maulud, which is an unfortunate incident. CAN sends its heartfelt condolences to the families who lost loved, ones, the Tudun Biri community, and the good people of Igabi LGA, the Emir of Zazzau, and the government of the state. While CAN prays for the repose of the souls of those who died in the incident, she prays for a speedy recovery for those receiving treatment due to injuries sustained.

“The wrong target bombing is most unfortunate, especially as it comes at a time when the security agencies and Nigerians alike are working tirelessly to ensure that our society is free from criminal elements that go about killing, abducting, rustling cattle, and destroying property of innocent citizens.

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“Therefore, CAN encourages the Muslim Ummah and the good people of the Tudun Biri area to accept the ill-fated incident not as a deliberate act but as an error that the Nigerian Army has acknowledged and shows regret. It is our prayer that such an unfortunate incident is not repeated in the future, whether in Kaduna state or any part of the country.

“CAN will continue to pray for the government at all levels and the security personnel that God Almighty will give them the wisdom and understanding to end insecurity and support the maintenance of peaceful coexistence so that citizens will go about their legitimate businesses.

“CAN calls on the security agencies not to relent in the fight against insurgency and prays that society will soon be freed from criminal elements in the country.”

Also, Mr. Shettima Yerima, President General of Arewa Youth Consultatve Forum (AYCF), said: “It is sad that a security agency whose primary responsibility is to protect lives and property is now the one killing the people in the guise of’mistake.’ This is not acceptable because it is one mistake too much.

“We are calling on government to carry out thorough investigation into this avoidable ‘mistake’ if intelligence gathering is anything to go by. Perpetrators of this so-called mistake must be made to explain beyond reasonable doubt how religious people carrying out religious activities could be mistaken for terrorists.

“While we commiserate with families of those who were killed,we pray God to give speedy recovery to the injured. Enough of this unwarranted killings of innocent people by those who should protect them,” the group added.

Similarly, in a chat with a security expert, Mr Akogwu John said it was shocking that the Nigerian Army would launch an attack without proper surveys.

He said, “To me, there should be more to that story because I don’t understand how trained security operatives will go to a state where human beings occupy and just drop a bomb.

“The most annoying part is that they were not ready to own up. If not for the Kaduna Government that exposed them, they had already denied it. People you are meant to protect, you kill them because of negligence.

“Did they do a proper survey before dropping the bomb? What exactly made them think these innocent villagers are terrorists? This story is not clear yet.

“Don’t tell me that they don’t know where these terrorists are camping. They know and even if they claim that they don’t know, it is a failure on their part because they have the funds to do all that. Human lives no longer matter to some people.

“The best thing to do now is for the army to release the identity of those who carried out the operation. They should be thoroughly questioned and I bet you, something fishy may be involved.”

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