By Sumaila Ogbaje
The North East Elders for Restoration and Development (NEERD) has described as malicious and insensitive, insinuations that the military leadership was complicit in the recent unfortunate incident in Tudun Biri, Kaduna State.
This is contained in a statement by the President of NEERD, Mallam Buba Tanko and the Secretary, Alhaji Ibrahim Bello, on Sunday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that a Nigerian Army drone had on Dec. 3, mistakenly killed and injured many people at Tudun Biri in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna state.
Following the incident, some individuals and groups came up with insinuations that the incident had an ethno-religious undertone.
In their contribution, the North East elders group said it was unfortunate that ethno-religious sentiments were being used to blackmail the military, that had continued to make sacrifices for the peace and stability of the country.
They said that those raising the allegations should have studied the antecedent of the present leadership of the military, especially the Chief of Defence, Gen. Christopher Musa.
According to them, it is unfortunate that some of our people are being used to escalate the tension in the North for selfish interest.
“For example, the present Chief of Defence Staff, Gen, Christopher Musa was Theatre Commander Operation Hadin Kai.
“His stay in the North-East is enough to vouch that the Armed Forces of Nigeria under him will not descend to attack those it is protecting.
“During his stay in the North-East, Gen. Musa ensured that peace was not only restored but people, irrespective of ethnicity and religion began to return to their various means of livelihood.
“We must not be blinded by ethno-religious sentiments at this time the country is going through economic and security challenges.
“Any one bringing up these insinuations at this time, don’t love Nigeria,” they said.
The elders commended the armed forces for what it has done, especially in the North-East.
They urged residents of the region to continue to support the military in the effort to achieve total peace in the North-East and the country as a whole. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chioma Ugboma