NAF begins probe of alleged airstrike on soldiers, army keeps mum
Forum urges Presidency to review security architecture
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has reacted to a report alleging an airstrike on Nigerian soldiers. The report by an online platform alleged that NAF fighter jet, on a mission against Boko Haram extremists, mistakenly bombed men of the Nigerian Army on Sunday, killing over 20 officers.
The video of a soldier describing the attack had been circulating on social media. In a tweet yesterday via its official twitter handle, NAF said it was investigating the report, adding that the general public would be duly updated as soon as the investigation is concluded.
It tweeted: “The attention of the @NigAirForce has been drawn to reports alleging ‘How NAF Killed over 20 Nigerian Army Personnel by Accident in Air Strike’ at Mainok which is about 55km to Maiduguri.
“NAF wishes to state that circulated visuals and reports are being investigated and the general public will be duly updated on the alleged incident. All enquiries should please be directed to the Office of the Director of Public Relations and Information (DPRI), Headquarters, Nigerian Air Force.”
But the army has refused to comment on the report. The Director Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, when contacted, said he was going to issue a statement on the incident. At the time of filing this report, he was yet to issue any official statement.
In a related development, the army has confirmed the killing of seven soldiers during an attack by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists on Operation Lafiya Dole in Mainok, Borno State.
Yerima, who disclosed this in Abuja, noted that the terrorists came with possible intent of establishing a phantom caliphate in the town.
MEANWHILE, Borno Emirates Concerned Citizens (BEC) Forum has tasked the Federal Government to investigate and review the nation’s security architecture.
According to the forum, the point of shifting blames on civilians is over, because of the massive killings and kidnapping. While lamenting incessant attacks at a news conference in Maiduguri, yesterday, the Chairman, Hassan Boguma, disclosed: “We express with dismay the recurring attacks on military formations and subsequent eviction of constituted authorities in Damasak, Geidam and Mainok by terrorists in Borno and Yobe states.”
He noted that the people were helpless, as there was no living soul that could invite such wrath into insurgency-affected communities.
“The repeating of same tactics by military and other security agencies have strengthened the insurgents in terrorism,” he warned. He therefore called on security agencies to review their adopted measures of protecting life and property. He also called on the Presidency to immediately summon a national security meeting addressing the lingering insecurity.
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