FG sends delegation to Borno accidental bombing victims
• UN agency, Red Cross express grief, offer help
A high-level Federal Government delegation arrived in Maiduguri, Borno State capital yesterday to deliver President Muhammadu Buhari’s sympathy to the victims of Tuesday’s deadly Air Force fighter jet accidental bombing of an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Rann.
Members of the delegation were the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; Ministers of Defence, Information and Culture, Mansur Dan Alli and Lai Mohammed; the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The delegation, received at the Maiduguri Airport by the Theater Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Gen. Lucky Irabor, visited Governor Kashim Shettima; Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Garba Al Amin El Kanem and the hospitals where those injured in the bombing are being treated.
Lai Mohammed transmitted the condolences of President Buhari and the Federal Government to the families of those who died in the unfortunate bombing and prayed for quick recovery for the injured.
Mohammed said government was particularly saddened because the accidental bombing was not a true reflection of the level of professionalism that he witnessed during the visit
The minister urged the NAF to continue to take the necessary measures to avoid civilian casualties, as it carries out its challenging task of keeping Nigerians safe.In a show of sympathy for the victims, the House of Representatives yesterday set up a 10-man committee to investigate the incident. House members observed a minute silence in honour of the victims.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has called for proper investigation of the incident. He cautioned the Presidency against rushing into a conclusion that the tragic incident was an “accident.”
The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNAS) has dispatched a helicopter with four medical personnel, 400kg of emergency medical supplies to the Rann community.A statement in Abuja by the Office of the UN Humanitarian Coordination Agency (OCHA) disclosed that eight injured Nigerian Red Cross workers were airlifted.
The agency said Rann was one of the localities that recently became accessible to humanitarian assistance and has about 43,000 IDPs who are already suffering from serious food shortages and acute malnutrition.
The UN Resident Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon said it was an unfortunate tragedy that befell people who were already suffering the effects of violence.The International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Movement also expressed shock over the incident. The President of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Bolaji Akpan Anani said the society was deeply saddened by the loss of our six colleagues and shocked that an incident of this magnitude has occurred in a civilian area.
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