One month after the tragic drone bombing error that claimed over 100 lives in three communities in Tudun Biri village, Igabi LGA, Kaduna State, residents are still awaiting compensation for their losses. The incident occurred on Sunday, December 3, 2023, during the Maulud celebration, resulting in numerous casualties and injuries,Daily Trust report.
The Nigerian Army, taking responsibility for the deaths, attributed the incident to a mistake. Malam Bala Tudun Biri, a resident, expressed the lasting impact of the tragedy, emphasizing its remembrance for generations.
Reverend Musa Sa’idu of Nagarta Baptist Church highlighted the unity between Muslim and Christian communities in coping with the grief. President Bola Ahmad Tinubu ordered a thorough investigation into the incident, with two panels set up by the defense headquarters and the federal government.
Former Senator Shehu Sani deemed the investigative panel unnecessary, urging a straightforward process to identify those responsible. He emphasized the need for justice and accountability, acknowledging the sacrifices made by the Nigerian military.
As the investigation progresses, Chief Imam Hashim Jafar of Tudun Biri stated that a team of military officers interviewed residents, with the community eagerly awaiting the final report and subsequent actions by the federal government. Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, assured that officers found guilty would face appropriate punishment, citing potential mix-ups and interactions with civilians during the incident.
Community leaders disputed claims of the presence of bandits or terrorists in the affected communities, emphasizing the need for accurate investigation results.
Regarding compensatory promises and donations, Vice President Kashim Shettima hinted at a federal government plan to rebuild Tudun Biri, including 500 houses, clinics, schools, roads, mosques, churches, and empowerment initiatives. Various donations from politicians and organizations aimed at supporting victims were announced, with road projects and preliminary planning initiated.
However, concerns were raised about the progress of these projects. Chief Imam Hashim Jafar mentioned that road work commenced but stopped, possibly due to the holidays. Malam Bello Tudun Biri noted that among the promises, only the Tudun Biri road project had started.
Governor Uba Sani inaugurated a special Tudun Biri Implementation and Monitoring Mechanism Committee to ensure accountability and fairness in fund disbursement. The committee aims to assess collected funds and reach out to donors. While the total amount collected remains undetermined, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Muhammad Lawan Shehu, affirmed that all donations were kept in the Kaduna State account, untouched.
Auwal Shehu Ugara, who lost his son in the incident, expressed hope for the government to fulfill its promises and provide compensation.