By Progress Godfrey, Abuja
The Jam’iyyatu Ansariddeen (Attijaniyya) of Nigeria has called on the Nigerian Army to immediately probe the killing of 85 innocent civilians in Tudun-Biri Village in Kaduna State by its drone.
The National Secretary of the faith-based organisation, Sayyidi Muhammad Al Qasim Yahaya, made the call at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
Yahaya, extended condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the horrific incident, noting that no words would be enough to alleviate the pain that they feel.
According to him, the fact that the tragedy happened when the community was celebrating the Prophet of Islam adds to the anguish, shock and disbelief that is felt.
The organization therefore urged the Nigerian Army to promptly initiate an impartial and independent investigation into the incident, and ensure that justice prevails.
“We urge the Nigerian Army to conduct a fair and comprehensive investigation to ascertain how and why such an unfortunate event took place. It is pertinent to add here that simplistic and rather casual excuse of ‘mistake’ leaves much to be desired in explaining this horrendous phenomenon.
“As an organization, we demand transparency and accountability in bringing the perpetrators to justice. No one should be above the law, and those responsible for this atrocity must be held accountable, regardless of their position or rank, ” the National Secretary said.
The organisation also called on the Army to reassess and strengthen its rules of engagement for its personnel as it regards the deployment of drones.
They charged the military to improve the training of its personnel on the protection of civilian lives and human rights in general, to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.
The organization further demanded: “Foster community engagement: Building trust between the affected communities and the military is paramount for maintaining peace and security. Encouraging dialogue and creating platforms for open communication can bridge the gap in understanding and help prevent such tragic incidents from recurring.
“Establish a compensation mechanism: The Nigerian Government should establish a fair and efficient compensation mechanism for the families affected by this tragedy. Financial and emotional support must be provided to help them rebuild their lives and cope with the immense loss they have suffered.”