It Wasn't An Error - Surviours Narrate How NAF Drops 3 Bomb At Borno IDP CampOne of the survivors of the Tuesday's Borno bombing has dismissed the Nigerian Air Force's claim that the strike was an accident.
The eyewitness, Abdulwahab Adam, claimed that the fighter jet dropped bombs on the Internally Displaced Persons camp three times.
"The bombs were dropped on us thrice and there was no way a mistake could be made thrice," Adam told Punch from his hospital bed at the General Hospital, Maiduguri.
On January 17, a fighter jet of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) 'mistakenly' fired at the IDPs camp in Rann, Borno State, killing about 100 persons, including aid workers of Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and International Committee of the Red Cross.
"There was nothing accidental about the attack and it could not be referred to as a mistake.
"The Federal Government should stop telling Nigerians that it was a mistake; for this was not. It was nothing but an unprovoked attack on a civilian populace.
"This was not a new camp and the attack happened when people queued up to receive humanitarian materials."
Another victim, Abba Yusuf, also disagreed with the excuse that the strike was carried out in error.
"This is the same force that told the world that they did not drop the bomb on insurgents in the Sambisa Forest because of human shield but weeks later, dropped bombs on unarmed civilians in an IDPs’ camp.
"Could they have been blindfolded to know that we were in a queue and we were unarmed or could they have mistaken the IDPs camp for the haven of insurgents?"
Also lamenting the horror, a relative of one of the deceased said he had gone to the general hospital to check if his brother was among the wounded, only to be told that he was among the dead.
Yakubu Hassan said his brother, who was a 35-year-old ad-hoc worker with the Nigerian Red Cross, left behind two wives and over 30 other dependants.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the 'negligence' of NAF does not go unpunished.
The Federal Government has however dispatched a high-powered delegation, led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, to condole with the government and people of Borno State and the international aid agencies affected in the attack.
In the delegation were two ministers – retired Brig. Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (Defence); and Alhaji Lai Mohammed (Information and Culture).
Others are the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin; the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.