The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led government to set up an independent body to investigate the Nigerian Army following the recent ‘accidental’ bombing in Kaduna State, which resulted in the death of several innocent civilians.
Naija News reports that no fewer than 120 persons were killed and about 60 persons injured in the said bomb attack on Tundun Biri village in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State by the Nigerian Army last Sunday night.
Reacting to the incident, a high-ranking member of the NEF, Professor Usman Yusuf, asserted that President Tinubu’s deeds and body language have shown that the Nigerian leader has less security concern.
Yusuf stated this on Tuesday while featuring on the Arise Television programme.
He said, “Our president and commander in chief, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, from his words, deeds, and body language, is not interested in security. All he’s interested in is the economy, where the money is, and he’s planted his people. Security, banditry, and others appear irritant to him.
“We don’t see the president hands-on with our security. Our military is not supervised by civilian authority; they’ve gone rogue, dropping bombs on our people, and they’re not answerable to anybody. In the United States, where we copied the presidential system, the military is subordinate to civilian authority.”
Furthermore, he raised doubts regarding the responsibilities of the defence minister, asserting that the president has delegated the nation’s security to the armed forces.
Additionally, he emphasized the necessity of conducting an investigation into the bomb attack in Kaduna, highlighting that it is inappropriate for the military to investigate its own actions.
Yusuf stressed: “Whatever the president is planning to do, the military cannot investigate itself. We’ve had several incidences, and there have been no outcomes.
“There should be an independent judicial panel headed by a retired CJN, a former defence chief, traditional leaders, and religious leaders who are interested in protecting the people.”
Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, has refuted claims that the Kaduna bombing was deliberately carried out to wipe out a particular ethnic nationality.
Recall that no fewer than 120 persons were killed and about 60 persons injured in a bomb attack on Tundun Biri village in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State by the Nigerian Army on Sunday night.
Speaking in an interview on Arise TV on Tuesday night, Musa described the claims that the bomb attack was deliberately carried out as unfortunate and made to turn the people against the military.
He said: “We are doing our best to ensure that we defeat the terrorists, and mistakes do happen. It has nothing to do with tribe or religion, but anyone who has that kind of thought is not being truthful or sincere.
“That community is a mixture of Christians, Muslims, and different ethnic groups. Sometimes, people react differently when they don’t have full information.”
Speaking on what led to the mistake, Musa said the way the villagers moved and converged was similar to the style of the terrorists, which misled the army to think they were terrorists.
The CDS lamented that the proximity of civilians to the terrorists had also slowed down the war against terror, as there were times when air strikes were called off so as not to hurt civilians.
He said, “After receiving information on the threat of attack within the general area, they followed up and saw individuals moving, just the same way the terrorists move. And then they went to congregate under a tree just the way the terrorists do, and from there, they felt it was time for them to act, and they reacted.
“It was based on intelligence, but I think they missed it. We want to convey to Nigerians that humans make mistakes, and it is deplorable. We will make amends and avoid a repeat. We will review what has happened and ensure we are more precise in the future.”
“We have had a series of times that we had to call off strikes because we felt civilians were involved. I can tell you for free that this operation is prolonged because most times when we go on strike, and there are civilians, we must avoid striking.”