• Friday, June 14, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

NAF takes responsibility for tragic airstrike in Nasarawa State

NAF aircraft crashes in Niger

The Nigerian Air Force has shouldered the responsibility for a devastating airstrike that occurred in Nasarawa State, acknowledging the tragic incident that led to unintended civilian casualties.

This admission comes as a solemn acknowledgment of a grave error, prompting discussions on accountability and reconciliation in the aftermath of the January 2023 unfortunate event.

Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, the Chief of Air Staff, expressed remorse during a visit to Governor Abdullahi Sule in Lafia on Friday.

Commending the governor’s leadership, Abubakar addressed the pressing need for reconciliation and accountability in the aftermath of the unfortunate incident.

“We extend our condolences to the families affected by the accidental airstrike in Rukubi,” stated Air Marshal Abubakar.

“Our foremost priority is to mitigate the impact of this tragedy and ensure that justice is served to those who lost their loved ones.”

According to Abubakar, the airstrike was conducted following intelligence reports of suspected terrorist activities in the Agudu area near Rukubi in Doma local government area.

He emphasized the complexities of combating insurgency while minimizing civilian harm.

The tragic incident prompted widespread condemnation and calls for accountability.

Abdullahi Sule, on his part, expressed profound gratitude to Chief of Air Staff, acknowledging the significance of the occasion, particularly as it marked one year since the tragic airstrike incident.

Sule recounted an encounter with a Fulani elder who lost everything in the airstrike, offering solace and finding resilience in the face of adversity.

Reflecting on the political landscape, he pledged to heed the Chief of Air Staff’s counsel, drawing from his own experiences in navigating legal challenges during his tenure.

Nasarawa Governor extended an open invitation for collaboration, emphasizing his willingness to work with David Ombugadu, the governorship candidate for Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 elections, for the collective good of the state.

Addressing security concerns, he affirmed his administration’s unwavering commitment to combating threats to peace and security in Nasarawa State.

Sule lauded the Air Force’s compassionate approach towards compensating the victims’ families, highlighting collaborative efforts between the government and community leaders in assuaging tensions and fostering reconciliation.

In response, Sidi Bage, the Emir of Lafia, commended the Chief of Air Staff for his exemplary gesture of compassion and commitment to justice, acknowledging the unprecedented nature of the compensation initiative.

He also lauded President Bola Tinubu’s administration for its responsiveness to the plight of the victims, signaling a collective resolve towards reconciliation and healing.