Nigeria's President Bola Tinubu has ordered a comprehensive investigation into a military drone attack over the weekend that resulted in the tragic loss of at least 85 lives, including women and children, in northern Kaduna.
Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, the Nigerian army chief, personally visited Tundun Biri village to express apologies for the air strike. While at a Kaduna hospital attending to the injured, he assured the victims that their medical bills would be taken care of.
This distressing incident sheds light on a disturbing pattern of lethal aerial assaults by the Nigerian military, adding to a series of attacks on civilians highlighted in a special Reuters report back in June.
Kaduna, located 163 km (101 miles) from the capital Abuja, is one of several northwestern and north-central states grappling with kidnappings and killings by armed groups. Security forces have been employing aerial strikes in their efforts to counter these threats.
The National Emergency Management Agency officially reported 85 deaths and 66 injuries, although witnesses claim the actual toll is higher. Despite being at the Cop28 Climate Summit in Dubai, President Tinubu referred to Sunday night's incident as a "bombing mishap," deeming it "very unfortunate, disturbing, and painful," according to his spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale.
In response to the tragedy, President Tinubu has called for a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the incident. While urging calm among the public, he emphasizes the need for authorities to diligently examine the mishap.