The Zamfara State Council of Chiefs on Sunday criticised the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) over the bombing of innocent civilians in the state.
According to reports, the Emir of Bungudu and spokesman for the traditional rulers, Alhaji Hassan Attahiru, in a telephone interview emphasised the stand of council that NAF “concocted names and figure” of neutralised bandits
Alhaji Hassan Attahiru pointed out that the traditional rulers had taken on NAF’s challenge to provide the names of civilian victims killed during its air strikes on supposed bandits’ hideouts.
He pointed out the traditional council are working towards presenting a list of innocent civilians killed by NAF’s air strikes.
Few days ago, the traditional council of chiefs cried out in public claiming that air strikes on supposed bandits hideout in Zamfara killed civilians and not the intended targets.
NAF responded to the allegations faulting the claims of the traditional rulers and challenged them to provide evidence of dead civilians.
But the Emir of Bungudu maintained the position of the traditional council that the airmen missed their targets and killed innocent people.
Attahiru said, “There is no where called Ajia in Birnin Magaji. They just concocted names and figure. Who identified those killed as bandits?
“We stand by our statement. It was the complaint from our people. Whether we can provide evidence or not, it is a matter of time.
“We are compiling a verifiable and evidence-based comprehensive report that will include a list of innocent victims. Our outcome will shock Nigerians.”
The Emir of Bungudu also expressed shock at the tactical orientation and operations of NAF. He pointed our that whenever the Air force carried out aerial attacks, there were no ground troops to complement air raids and mop up the fleeing bandits.
The Emir holds this as a reason why the bandits mix easily with citizens and eventually escape.
The traditional ruler stated, “We will be the happiest people in Nigeria to see these bandits flushed out of our state. What we complained about is that they should tread with caution. We are not interested in any blame game.”