2023: Army apologises for bombing innocent villagers in Nasarawa

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The Nigerian army has expressed regret and tendered its apology over the bombing of innocent civilians in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa state.

Recall that the force had, in an accidental air strike, bombed residents of Rukubi community in Doma, headquarters of Doma Local Government Area in January 2023.

But the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, has now begged the Nasarawa state government and the families of victims for forgiveness over the unfortunate incident.

Abubakar voiced the force’s contrition during a condolence visit to Governor Abdullahi Sule at Government House, Lafia, the state capital on Friday.

He explained that the airstrike was not deliberate, adding that the force was trying to neutralise some suspected terrorist when the tragic incident happened.

He said NAF had received intelligence that some terrorists were sighted on motorcycles in a location around Rukubi community, but in its efforts to confront them with weapons, innocent civilians in the area lost their lives.

His words, “I Air Marshal Abubakar and my team are in the State to sympathize and condole the Government and people of the state over the killing of some herders in Rukubi community of Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, in a military airstrike in January of 2023.

“It is not news that the general area (Rukubi) at that time had been well known for its insecurity occasioned by kidnapping and terrorism. Within the period, you would recall that six primary school pupils were also kidnapped in Doma LGA.

“This, necessitated the surveillance by the Nigerian Air Force within the period of time. Unfortunately, the airstrike killed some civilians at the location. The unfortunate incident of January 2023 was in no way deliberate as no military the world over, will intentionally kill those it is mandated to protect.

“Therefore, our visit to you (Governor Sule) is to solicit your kind intervention in interfacing with the representatives of the victims of the accidental air strike at Rukubi. Our interest in initiating ways and means in reaching out to the victims, their families or their representatives on the need to calm nerves and bring a close to the matter.”

Abubakar, who lamented the prevailing security situation in the state, assured of the Nigerian Air Force determination to end the menace of kidnapping, terrorism, banditry and cattle rustling in Nasarawa State and Nigeria as a whole

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