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Nigerians must take Tundun Biri bombing that killed 126 civilians as tragic event designed by God: Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu on Monday said the accidental airstrike that killed at least 126 persons and injured scores in Tundun Biri, Kaduna State, is a tragic event designed by God.

“My purpose is to condole the entire country through the army on the loss of life in Kaduna; it’s tragic,” Mr Tinubu said during his visit to the Shehu of Borno.

“But as people of faith and people who believe in this country, importantly faith, death through Maulud Nabir is shahada. We must take that one as a tragic event designed by God,” he added. 

Mr Tinubu’s statement comes barely a week after the Nigerian army mistakenly bombed Tundun Biri village, killing villagers celebrating Maulud.

Last week, Peoples Gazette reported how an accidental airstrike killed 126 people celebrating Maulud at Tudun Giri village in Igabi Local Government area of Kaduna State last Sunday. 

Mr Tinubu’s statement attributing the incident to God echoes Vice President Kashim Shettima’s, who asked Nigerians not to dwell on the matter. Similarly, Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser, urged the country to move on despite innocent lives lost in the tragic incident. 

The incident has sparked widespread criticisms from outraged Nigerians, as Mr Tinubu on Tuesday mourned those killed and ordered a probe into the matter.

Idris Dahiru, a resident of Tudun Biri, narrated how the army bombed villagers celebrating Maulud, killing 34 members of his family.

Mr Dahiru said the army dropped two bombs on the village in 30-minute intervals, explaining that the second bomb killed those who ran to the scene to rescue villagers injured by the first bombing.

“As we rushed to aid the injured, the jet returned, unleashing a second bomb; this time, many of those who had come to help were among the casualties. We have 66 loved ones receiving medical care at Barau Dikko Hospital,” Mr Dahiru said. 

Tudun Biri’s incident comes as the latest among many other bombings of civilians by the Nigerian Army. In 2021, Peoples Gazette reported that the Nigerian Air Force Alpha jet, in an ariel attack on armed bandits in Niger State, mistakenly killed wedding guests. A similar bombing claimed over 100 civilians in January 2023.

Before then, the Nigerian Air Force, in an airstrike, killed some Nigerian soldiers, mistaking them for insurgents. A soldier in a video published by The Gazette was seen reporting the incident and called for help.