Abuja, Dec. 15, 2023 (NAN) Armed Forces of Nigeria is poised to punish personnel found culpable in the Dec. 3 accidental killing of 85 civilians in Tudun Biri in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Those found culpable at the end of an independent investigation ordered by President Bola Tinubu would be punished, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, assured in Abuja on Friday.
Fielding questions from journalists at his maiden interaction with the media, Musa said the incident was highly regrettable.
“The incident in Kaduna is highly regrettable, it should not have been.
“Our mandate is to protect civilians, not to kill, maim or destroy.
“At that particular time, we were in the heat of pursuing some bandits within that general area and unfortunately this happened.
“I am happy the Commander-in-Chief has instituted a committee to look into the incident and advise on how to move forward and how to prevent a recurrence.
“Whatever happens, we shall identify the casualties and arrange for compensation.
“I assure all Nigerians that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is here for Nigerians and we want Nigerians to take ownership of the Armed Forces of Nigeria,’’ Musa said.
Musa added that the military as a disciplined organisation would not shield any officer found culpable in the incident.
“If they are found guilty they will definitely face punishment and I can assure you that we are going to be transparent about it.
“Members of the committee will not even be serving members of the armed forces so that we can have that fairness in the process.
“I am sure you know in Maiduguri we have jailed a lot of personnel and you can go and verify.
“In the armed forces, we do not shield offenders. You commit an offence, you go for it and that is why we have that level of discipline,’’ he said.
Musa urged Nigerians to await the outcome of the investigation to be able to know exactly what happened, adding that the investigation would reveal a lot of facts about the area.
The Tudun Biri accident occurred as some faithful gathered in the area to observe a religious holiday, but an army drone mistook them for terrorists and bandits and fired at the faithful.
Some of them were also injured. (NAN)
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