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How we misfired, killed 37 innocent citizens in Nasarawa community – NAF Chief 

How we misfired, killed 37 innocent citizens in Nasarawa community – NAF Chief 

The Nigerian Air Force has accepted responsibility for the January 23,  2023 airstrike in Akpanaja community, Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State that claimed 37 lives.

Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, stated this on Friday when he met to condole families of the victims at the palace of Emir of Lafia, Sidi Bage-Muhammad.

He explained that the Air Force, acting on intelligence that some terrorists on motorcycles were operating in the area, carried out the airstrike operation which unfortunately killed innocent civilians.

“The airstrike was conducted after series of intelligence sighting of terrorist elements on motorcycles operating in the area.

“Thereafter, there was a lot of outcry by well meaning Nigerians that a number of innocent civilians may have been killed during the airstrike.

“This agitated our minds because there is no military the world over, no matter what, the military is employed and paid to protect the lives and property of citizens and whenever the military is accused of killing innocent civilians it’s painful to us.

“So, we had to go back and initiate a detailed and more thorough investigation into that incident. 

“Sadly, further investigation into the incident revealed that truly, indeed a number of innocent civilians were killed in the airstrike.

“That necessitated our visit to Nasarawa State today to offer our condolences to the government and the families and those affected and bring closure to the unfortunate accident,”  he said.

He also said that the visit would help to ensure that the Air Force is accountable and transparent in all their operations.

The Chief of Air Staff therefore said that the force had taken measures to ensure that such incident does not occur again in future.

On his part, Governor Abdullahi Sule welcomed the initiative by the Chief of Air Staff to comfort those who lost their love once in that unfortunate incident.

He described the action of the Chief of Air Staff as first of its kind and expressed optimism that it would bring the lingering issue to a close.

The Governor also commended the Air Force and other security agencies for their roles in keeping peace in the State and promised to continue to support them in their operations.

Responding on be half the families of the victims, the Emir  expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and Chief of Air Staff for the condolences.

He noted that they have accepted the apology by the leadership of the Nigerian Air Force, adding that it would go a long way in the healing process.

“This is something new, for an authority like the Nigerian Air Force having conducted an authorised duty to come back and apologize for an accident that occurred during the operation,” he added.

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