Zamfara Emirs Insist Air Force Killed Innocent Nigerians
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, speaking to newsmen

Zamfara Council of Chiefs has said that the leader of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) team that ‘mistakenly bombarded innocent Nigerians’ in the state has apologised.

The council also denied reports it apologised to the force for alleging that it killed innocent civilians during air strikes in the northwest state.

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Concise News understands that Air Task Force for Operation DIRAN MIKIYA was accused of killing only innocent civilians in the areas attacked and not bandits.

But the air force urged anyone with evidence that innocent civilians were killed by the security outfit during air strikes.

Speaking to newsmen on Monday, the Emir of Anka and Chairman of the state council of chiefs, Alhaji Attahiru Muhammad Ahmad, insisted that the air force killed innocent Nigerians.

He said: “I have received an entourage led by Air Vice Marshall Idi Lubo who was in the state to condole and sympathize with the entire people of the state over a mistake made by the NAF that consumed innocent lives.

“In my recorded remarks, there was no where I apologized for making it public that, NAF had mistakenly killed innocent lives during its bombardments on targeted camps operated by bandits across some villages in the state recently but, I rather used words of respect as did by the August visitor which had been our tradition when receiving guests.”

He also said, “Our Council meeting had, based on credible reports, believed that the killings of innocent people had occurred; and if later, I would come back to make U-Turn on that matter then, I should not remain as Emir.”

He also said, “The leader of the delegation had on behalf of the Chief of Air Staff, condoled and sympathized with the people of the state,” he added.

“As the Council of Chiefs, we did not intend to smear the hard-earned reputation of the Nigerian Air Force; we only cited the killings of innocent people as an example in reaction to the claim by Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Mansur Dan Ali (rtd) who on baseless reasons accused traditional rulers of aiding banditry activities in the state.”

Concise News had reported that no fewer than 50 persons, including members of the Civilian Joint Task Force, were last week Tuesday killed in Zamfara state, northwest Nigeria.