No gain dwelling too much on Kaduna bomb attack: Shettima

Vice President Kashim Shettima has said no gain restating the army airstrike that killed at least 126 persons and left scores injured at Tudun Biri village in the Igabi Local government Area of Kaduna State last Sunday.

“There is no gain in dwelling too much on this incident that has happened. I am here because the President is deeply concerned; he was deeply touched by what happened,” Mr Shettima said.

He stated, “The late Dele Giwa rightly said, let’s not talk about the numbers, one life lost in cold blood is as gruesome as millions lost in a pogrom. The heart of the President is with the bereaved families. We were at the hospital to sympathise with the victims and be assured that the Federal Government stands by the community affected and the government and people of Kaduna State on this unfortunate incident.”

Mr Shettima, who led a Federal Government delegation to the village and hospital to commiserate with the injured, disclosed this while addressing journalists.

Assuring victims of government’s support, the vice president further said based on President Bola Tinubu’s directive “an investigation is being conducted to prevent a re-occurrence of the incident and we expect a report to be submitted in the shortest possible time.”

Citing sources in the army, Peoples Gazette on Monday reported how an accidental airstrike killed 126 people celebrating Maulud at Tudun Biri village in the Igabi LGA on  Sunday.

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

Mr Dahiru narrated how the army dropped two bombs on the village in a 30-minute interval, 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. 

The incident has sparked reactions from Nigerians condemning the army while calling for a probe into the matter.

The President in a statement on Tuesday mourned those killed in the accidental airstrike and ordered a probe into the case.

Tudun Biri’s incident comes as the latest among 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 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 calling for help.