Thursday, 19 January 2017

Fed Govt to foot medical expenses of injured

The Federal Government will pay the expenses of the injured, who are receiving treatment in various hospitals, Chief of Staff to the President Abba Kyari, said yesterday after visiting some of the injured and the Borno State Government.

 He led a Federal Government delegation to condole with the people and government of the state over the fatal air strike.

On the team were: Minister of Defence Dan Ali, Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Gabriel Olanishakin, Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai and Chief of Air Staff Air Mashar Siddique Abubakar.

They were received at the Air force Base by the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major Gen. Lucky Irabor.

 The delegation met with Governor Kashim Shettima at the Government House.

Kyari described the incident as “unfortunate and could have been avoided”

He said the president is distressed over the unfortunate accident.

“We are in Maiduguri at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari to come over and Condole with the people and government of Borno State over the unfortunate air strike accident that took place at Rann town IDPs Camp,  leaving many innocent people dead and others injured.

He also assured that the Armed forces would take care and ensure that such incident did not happen again.

Shettima noted that wars were replete with friendly fire, adding that they accounted for 20 per cent in war.

 The governor said that such incidents were as old as mankind and rampant, citing similar incidents in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

 “We do not justify the incident, but they are common,” he said and thanked the Federal Government for the visit.

 The governor hailed the military, saying “nobody attempted to hide anything or sweep anything under the carpet.’’

Mohammed described as utterly tragic the accidental bombing.

A statement yesterday by his aide, Mr. Segun Adeyemi, said: ”One of the things we went away with after spending some two days at the Tactical Air Command in Yola is the strict adherence to operational guidelines and the high level of professionalism of the officers and men, especially the young pilots who fly high-risk missions day and night.

“We heard that on several occasions during their sorties, fighter pilots have had to hold their fire after observing the movement of women and children in Sambisa. We also witnessed the same careful disposition when we flew to Sambisa with the pilots.

”It therefore came to me as a rude shock to learn, a few hours after leaving Yola, that one of the fighter jets has accidentally bombed civilians, including aid workers,” he said.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) also expressed regrets over the fatal air strike.

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