By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has dispatched a high-powered Federal Government delegation to condole with the government and people of Borno state over Tuesday’s accidental bombing of the Internally Displaced Persons camp, in Rann.
Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, made this known on his twitter handle on Wednesday.
He stated that the delegation was headed by Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, with service chiefs, Minister of Information Lai Mohammed and Minister of Defence, Retired Brig. Mansur Dan-Ali as members of the team.
The twitter message read: “A team from (President Muhammadu Buhari) PMB heads for Maiduguri on condolence visit.
“It is made of Chief of Staff, service chiefs, ministers of information and defence.’’
President Buhari, who expressed deep sadness and regret over the incident, condoled with families of the dead.
The president also wished those wounded during the incident divine succour, leading to full recovery.
He pledged Federal Government help for the state government in attending to “this regrettable operational mistake.”
Buhari, who pleaded for calm, prayed for the repose of the souls of the dead.
The Nigeria Army said a fighter jet misfired and shot some humanitarian aid workers of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), recording casualties.
The Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, said the accident happened at Kala Balge in Borno, noting that the victims were possibly aid workers and civilians.
Irabo added that “It is disturbing; death has occurred. There are casualties; there are deaths and injuries” and expressed his condolences.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force has Expressed grave sadness over the accidental air strike that affected the Internal Displaced Persons Camp in Rann, Kala Balge area of Borno State.
The accident claimed 52 lives including six Red Cross officials. About 120 people were injured.
The Air Force jet was on a mission to attack Boko Haram insurgents north of Borno, when it mistakenly dropped a bomb on the camp.
The Air Force in a statement on Instagram said it was saddened by the tragedy.
“While available information is sketchy, the Theatre Commander OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE is taking appropriate steps to avail us with details of the incident. The loss occasioned by this unfortunate incident is deeply regretted.
“The NAF commiserates with those affected and their families and would update the public as soon as detailed facts emerge from the investigation”, it said.