Zamfara state Council of Chiefs has debunked reports that they had made U-turn and apologised to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) over their allegations on air strikes on civilians in the state.
Speaking to newsmen on Monday, the Emir of Anka and Chairman of the state council of chiefs, Alhaji Attahiru Muhammad Ahmad, described the report as baseless.
He said: “I have received an entourage led by Air Vice Marshall Idi Lubo who was in the state to condole and sympathized 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 said a ruler of his calibre cannot in any way utter a word on anything that cannot be defended.
“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 said.
Alhaji Attahiru further said that the NAF had confessed that the action was a mistake and that it was not its tradition, but always serve to protect lives and property of the good citizens of the country.
“The leader of the delegation had on behalf of the Chief of Air Staff, condoled and sympathized with the people of the state.
“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,” the Emir said.
He further explained that even the other mistakes by the Nigerian Army and the Police were also cited.
He added that the troops usually leave immediately after destroying and dispersing the bandits, but noted that the armed criminals would regroup and continue attacking innocent communities.
He further said the Police could not be seen anywhere apart from local government headquarters.
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